Hubertus Heil (born 3 November 1972 in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony) is a German politician. In 2005 he became general secretary of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). In September 2009, after immense losses for the SPD during the German federal election, Heil announced his resignation from this position for November. Andrea Nahles succeeded him as general secretary in November 2009.
After receiving his Abitur in 1992 Heil first served his Zivildienst, then began studying sociology and political science at the University of Potsdam and the FernUniversität Hagen in 1995. From 1995 to 1997 Heil was executive director of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Arbeitnehmerfragen, a leftist caucus in the SPD, representing the workers' wing of the party, although he was reputed to belong to the undogmatical reform socialist wing during his Juso time.
Hubertus Heil joined the SPD in 1988. At first he was engaged at the Jusos and he was their chairman in the district of Braunschweig from 1991 to 1995. Today he is deputy chairman of the SPD in Braunschweig.
In November 2005 the then designated party leader Matthias Platzeck proposed the relatively unknown Heil as candidate for the new secretary general, after Franz Müntefering had resigned as SPD chairman and the elected general secretary Andrea Nahles had abandoned. Heil was elected new general secretary of the SPD, but he received only 61,2% of the votes, about 20% less than his predecessor Klaus Uwe Benneter. He currently serves as advisory member of the Commission for Fundamental Values of the Executive Committee of the SPD, a body led by Gesine Schwan.
Heil has described himself as an anti-communist.
Heil has been a member of the Bundestag since the 1998 German elections, representing the electoral district of Gifhorn-Peine. Between 1998 and 2005, he was a member of the Committee on Economic Affairs. He was a member of the executive board of the SPD's parliamentary group under the leadership of Franz Müntefering from 2002 to 2004; since 2009, he has been serving as deputy chairman of the group.
In 2012, Heil proposed a special panel in the Federal Chancellery to help overcome professional skill shortages, comprising representatives of industry, unions as well as the federal labor agency and regional and community associations.
In the negotiations to form a grand coalition following the 2013 national elections, Heil led the SPD delegation in the working group on economic affairs; her co-chair from the CDU/CSU was Ilse Aigner.
In October 2016, Heil accompanied Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel to Tehran to attend the German-Iranian Joint Economic Commission’s first meeting in 15 years.
- Berliner Republik magazine, Publisher
- German Association for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (BVMW), Member of the Political Advisory Board (2015-2016)
- FernUniversität Hagen, Member of the Parliamentary Advisory Board (2013–present)
- KfW, Member of the Board of Supervisory Directors (2010–present)
- Leibniz Association, Member of the Senate
- Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, Member of the Presidium (2009–present)
- Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Posts and Railway, Member of the Advisory Board (2003-2005)
- Klaus Dieter Arndt Foundation, Deputy Chairman of the Board (2002-2005)
- ZDF, Member of the Television Board (2009-2010)