Claudia Roth was born in Ulm in 1955. After obtaining her Abitur (higher-education entrance qualification), she went on to study Theatre Studies at LMU Munich. After two semesters, she left the lecture halls for the theatre and worked as dramaturgy assistant and later a dramaturge at the Städtische Bühnen theatre in Dortmund and Hoffmans Comic Teater in Unna. From 1982 to 1985 she managed the rock band Ton Steine Scherben.
She was press spokeswoman for the first parliamentary group of the Greens in the Bundestag. In 1989 she was elected to the European Parliament and remained a member until 1998. From 1994, she was chairwoman of The Greens in the European Parliament. She was elected to the German Bundestag in 1998 and from 1998 to March 2001 served as chairwoman of the newly formed Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid.
From March 2003 to October 2004 she gave a face to human rights policy in Germany in her role as Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office. Her political activities have always focused particularly on human and civil rights, climate change, fighting racism, and culture. She is an active and influential advocate of the “One World” philosophy and of the alter-globalisation movement in Germany.
Roth was elected chairwoman of Alliance 90/The Greens for the first time in 2001, and was subsequently re-elected in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. She left this post in 2013 and was elected a Vice President of the German Bundestag on 22 October. Alongside her political activities, Roth has been the spokeswoman of the Sustainability Commission of the German Football Association (DFB) since 2010 and is a member of the board of trustees of the DFB’s cultural foundation. She is a member of the Humanist Union, Pro Asyl and the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany.