Having completed my Abitur, civil service and a year abroad in London, I moved to Bremen in the winter semester 1987/88 to study law at the university. My studies were accompanied by a variety of university political activities, and in 1994, I passed the First State Examination in Law. Subsequently, I worked for several years as a research assistant and, in 1998, completed a doctorate on the subject of "Municipal associations as organisational forms of local self-government" (supervisor: Prof. Dian Schefold, second examiner: Prof. Alfred Rinken). Following the postgraduated internship and Second State Examination in 1999, I worked as legal advisor, project leader and authorised officer of bremen online services GmbH & Co. KG, an IT company with a focus on electronic communication between citizens, companies and administration, from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, I moved to the Senator of Justice in Bremen, as advisor for public law, legal review and data protection. From 2007, I worked for the Lower Saxony municipality of Weyhe, from November 2014 as elected mayor. In 2015, I was elected Chairman of the Municipal Association Lower Saxony/Bremen, an association of 28 municipalities in the Bremen region. Since August 2019 I am Mayor of Bremen and as President of the Senate also head of the Land Bremen government.