Petra Roth (born 9 May 1944 in Bremen) is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). She was the mayor of Frankfurt am Main from 1995 to 2012. In addition she twice served as president of the Deutscher Städtetag, resuming her previous post there in 2009. The group is the head organization and lobby group for all German cities vis-à-vis the Cabinet of Germany, the German Bundestag, the Bundesrat of Germany, the European Union (EU) and many organizations.
Petra Roth is descended from a Bremen-based family of merchants. After she left the Kippenberg-Gymnasium, which has a special concentration in music, with a General Certificate of Secondary Education, she completed an apprenticeship as a medical secretary. Later she passed her exam at an upper business school. Love led her from Bremen to Frankfurt am Main. She is described as interested in the arts. She has two sons and has been widowed since 1994.
Petra Roth joined the Christian Democratic Union in 1972 after she had moved to Frankfurt. Later she was elected to the local city council and between 1987 and 1995, to the Parliament of Hesse. Between 1992 and 1995 she was chairman of the CDU Frankfurt.
On 25 June 1995, Petra Roth was elected mayor of Frankfurt, defeating the incumbent Andreas von Schoeler and becoming the city's first directly elected woman mayor.
In 2001, she won the second round in a tight race against Achim Vandreike (SPD). Meanwhile, Roth is longest-serving Frankfurt mayor since World War II.
On 28 January 2007, she was re-elected in the first round with 60.5% of the votes but with voter participation of only 33.6%. Her rival candidate Franz Frey (SPD) got 27.5% of the votes.
Roth was briefly considered as a potential successor to Federal President Johannes Rau. In March 2008 she was considered a potential candidate for Minister-President of the State of Hesse.
Within the CDU, Roth is considered a proponent of religious tolerance and a moderate stance regarding topics such as building of mosques in Germany, migration and integration, as well as drug treatment policy.
From 1997 to 1999 and from 2003 to 2005 she was president of Deutscher Städtetag, a position she has taken up again (since 2009). She is also member of the Committee of the Regions of European Union.
Roth is member of the board of Frankfurt International Airport Fraport, chairman of the supervisory boards of the Frankfurt trade fair Messe Frankfurt, of the municipal utility company Stadtwerke Frankfurt am Main, of the regional transport services company Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund, and the regional housing society ABG Frankfurt Holding.
In 2001, for her activity in the service of the Franco-German cooperation, she received the Légion d'honneur order, Officier class.
In 2005 she received the Doctor philosophiae honoris causa of Tel Aviv University for her support of academic and cultural relations between the partner cities Tel Aviv and Frankfurt as well as her friendship to Israel.