Thomas Westphal was born in Lübeck in 1967 and spent his childhood and youth there with his parents and three siblings.
In 1984, after graduating from secondary school, he began an apprenticeship with the state of Schleswig-Holstein as a civil servant in the police administration.
From 1988 onwards, he then studied economics at the Hamburg University of Economics and Politics on the second educational path. During this time he was also elected Federal Chairman of the youth organisation of the socialdemocratic party SPD. After his graduation and involvement in politics, he moved to Dortmund in 1996. This was followed by several management positions at companies in the Ruhr area and in Baden-Württemberg until 2010.
In this year, the change from private business to public administration took place when he took over the management of the regional business development agency of the Ruhr area.
In 2013, he moved to his home town to join the Dortmund business development agency - the largest institution of its kind in Germany.
Following the nomination as the SPD's candidate for the office of Lord Mayor in September 2019, the election by the citizens of Dortmund took place one year later.
Thomas Westphal describes his vision for Dortmund as a "big city of neighbours".