After my graduation from Leibniz-Gymnasium in Buer and completing my military service in Essen and Barnstorf, I studied economic sciences and geography (Graduation as Diplom-Geograph). I have worked in various companies as project assistant, department head and general manager.
My political career started in 1989 as a member of the City Council of Gelsenkirchen. In 1995 I was elected as a deputy of the North Rhine-Westphalian Parliament. I was the Lord Mayor of the City of Gelsenkirchen from 1999 to 2004 and the Minister of Construction and Transport for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia from 2005 to 2009. Furthermore I was a deputy of the North Rhine-Westphalian Parliament from 2007 to 2010 and from 2012 to 2013. In 2013, I was elected into the German Parliament (Bundestag). There, I am a full member of the Committee on Transport and Digital Infrastructure and of the Subcommittee on Local Policy. In addition, I am a substitute member of the Committee on Internal Affairs and of the Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. Additionally, I am Chairman of the Working Group Ruhr District of the CDU/CSU (Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union). I am the Chairman of the CDU-Ruhr since 2008 and Chairman of the CDU-Gelsenkirchen since 2013.
I am 49 years old and live in Buer-Bülse with my wife and our two sons.