Thomas Oppermann has been Member of the German Bundestag since September 2005 and chairman of the SPD parliamentary group since 2013. In the current 18th electoral term, he is a member of the Joint Committee, the designated acting parliamentary body in event of emergency, as stipulated in Germany’s Basic Law. Oppermann is also a member of the nominating committee for Federal Constitutional Court justices appointed by the Bundestag. From 2007 until 2013 Oppermann was the First Parliamentary Secretary of the SPD parliamentary group. From 1990 until 2005 he was a Member of the State Parliament of Lower Saxony, where he was Minister of Science from 1998 until 2003. From 1999 until 2004 he was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Volkswagen Foundation. After studying law at the University of Göttingen, Oppermann worked as a judge in the Administrative Courts in Hanover and Braunschweig from 1986 until 1990.