| Leader of the Social Democratic Party |
3 June 2019 –1 October 2019
Servingwith Malu Dreyer
|General Secretary||Lars Klingbeil|
|Preceded by||Andrea Nahles|
|Succeeded by||Malu Dreyer|
|Leader of the Social Democratic Party in Hesse|
28 February 2009 –1 October 2019
|Preceded by||Andrea Ypsilanti|
|Succeeded by||Nancy Faeser|
|Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic Party|
14 November 2009 –1 October 2019
|Leader|| Sigmar Gabriel |
Olaf Scholz (Acting)
Manuela Schwesig (Acting)
Malu Dreyer (Acting)
|Preceded by||Andrea Nahles|
|Succeeded by||Anke Rehlinger|
|Member of the Hessian Landtag|
5 April 2003 –1 October 2019
|Born||1 October 1969|
Oberstdorf, West Germany
Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel (né Schäfer, born 1 October 1969) is a German politician of the SPD.
He is currently the leader of the opposition SPD party bloc in the Hessian state parliament. He lost his bid for the office of Minister-President of Hesse in the January 2009 Hessian state election, where he had challenged incumbent Roland Koch (CDU).Schäfer-Gümbel has been deputy leader of the SPD since December 2013. He is one of three ad interim successors of former SPD leader Andrea Nahles in the transition phase until a new leader will be voted in later in 2019.
Schäfer-Gümbel was born to a West German soldier stationed in the far south of Bavaria in Oberstdorf. However, he grew up in Hesse in the city of Gießen. He briefly studied Agrarian Science at Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, after which he changed to Political Science. Supported by a scholarship of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, he graduated with a Master's degree in 1997, he took various minor political positions. He is married and has three children.
Schäfer-Gümbel was involved with the Social and Youth department of Gießen from the late 1990s. He became a local adviser to the SPD, a party which he had joined at the age of 17, and was also a local delegate of the SPD in the local government (Kreistag) in Gießen. He quickly moved up the ranks in the Hessian SPD party machine, and was a candidate on the SPD party list during the 2003 Landtag election. He gained a seat in 2003, and has been a member of the Hessian Landtag ever since. He was re-elected in the 2008 Landtag election and in the 2009 special election; however he was elected as part of the party list and not on a direct mandate, as he lost his local race to the CDU candidate.
In late 2008, following a political crisis and Andrea Ypsilanti's resignation, Schäfer-Gümbel became the SPD's party leader in Hesse and the SPD candidate for minister-president of Hesse. However, the SPD fared poorly in the subsequent 2009 special election, which allowed the CDU's Roland Koch to remain in office. Schäfer-Gümbel has been party leader of the opposition SPD since 29 January 2009. Schäfer-Gümbel was a delegate to the Federal Convention for the purpose of electing the President of Germany in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2017.
In the negotiations to form a Grand Coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU together with the Bavarian CSU) and the SPD following the 2013 federal elections, Schäfer-Gümbel was part of the SPD delegation in the working group on energy policy, led by Peter Altmaier and Hannelore Kraft.
In March 2019, Schäfer-Gümbel announced that he would resign from active politics by the end of the year and instead join the management board of German development agency GIZ.
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