Cornelia Yzer was born on 28 July 1961 in Lüdenscheid. She studied law and economics. From 1992 to 1994 she served as Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Women and Youth and from 1994 to 1997 at the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology. From 1997 to 2011 she was Director General of the German Association of Research-based Pharmaceutical Companies. Since September 2012, Cornelia Yzer has been Berlin’s Senator for Economics, Technology and Research.