Born on 14 June 1958 in Osnabrück, married to Britta Ernst, Minister of school and professionell education in Brandenburg.
March 2018 Federal Minister of Finance
February 2018 to April 2018 Acting Chairman of SPD
March 2011 to March 2018 First Mayor of the City of Hamburg
November 2009 to March 2018 Chairman of the Hamburg SPD
November 2009 Vice Chairman of SPD
October 2009 to March 2011 Vice Chairman of SPD parliamentary group
November 2007 to October 2009
Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
October 2005 to November 2007 Chief Whip/ First Parliamentary Secretary of the SPD parliamentary group
2002 to 2004 General Secretary of the SPD
Since December 2001 Member of the SPD Executive Committee
2000 to 2004 Chairman of the Hamburg SPD
May 2001 to October 2001 Interior Senator of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
1998 to May 2001 and 2002 to 2011 Member of the German Bundestag (directly elected in the constituency of Hamburg-Altona)
1994 to 2000 Chairman of the SPD Altona
1987 to 1989 Vice-President of the "International Union of Social Youth"
1982 to 1988 Deputy Federal Chairman of the Young Socialists
1975 joined the SPD
Since 1985 Lawyer (currently not practising)
Memberships: Trade Union Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten (Union of Workers in the Food and Catering Trades), Arbeiterwohlfahrt (National Association for Workers' Welfare), Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (Workers' Samaritan Federation Germany).