Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon is a Scottish politician who is the current First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party, in office since November 2014. She is the first woman to hold either position. She was the Deputy First Minister of Scotland from 2007 and the Depute Leader of the SNP from 2004 until becoming First Minister Born in Irvine in 1970 Nicola joined the SNP at the age of 16 and has been campaigning for Scottish independence ever since. Nicola studied Law at the University of Glasgow and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and Diploma in Legal Practice. Before she became an MSP, Nicola worked as a solicitor at Drumchapel Law Centre. It was at the first elections to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 that Nicola became the SNP's spokeswoman on justice, and later on education and health. Following the resignation of John Swinney in 2004, she announced that she would stand as a candidate for the leadership of the SNP. Nicola later withdrew in favour of Alex Salmond but stood as Deputy Leader on a joint campaign with Salmond. Both were subsequently elected and Nicola led the SNP in the Scottish Parliament from 2004–2007 until Salmond was elected back to the Scottish Parliament in the 2007 election. The SNP won the highest number of seats in the Scottish Parliament following the 2007 election and Salmond was subsequently appointed First Minister of Scotland. He appointed Sturgeon as his Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing. Nicola is also currently the Cabinet Secretary for Parliament and Government Strategy, the Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, and the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Glasgow Southside.