Student in law, University Kiel, Germany, 1968—1973.
Civil servant, 1974—1975. Civil servant in public administration Bremen, Germany, 1977. Probationary judge Administrative Court of Bremen, 1978—1980, judge, 1980—1990, chief judge, 1991—1995.
Member Bremen State Parliament, 1995—2005. Mayor, president, senator of culture & ecclesiastical affairs Senate of Free Hanseatic City Bremen, since 2005. President Federal Council (Upper House of Parliament), Germany, since 2009.
Interim president Federal Republic of Germany, 2010. Member German Social Democratic Party, since 1967, head parliamentary party, 1999—2005.
Member of Union of Service Industries, Workers Welfare Organization, German-Israeli Society, Bremen section.