Affiliated with the Scottish National Party, she took office in 2007 as Deputy First Minister of Scotland. She also served as Cabinet Secretary for Health, Infrastructure, and Parliament.
After earning her law degree from the University of Glasgow, she ran unsuccessfully for a 1992 Glasgow Shettleston seat in the Scottish Parliament.
She was the 2008 recipient of the Scottish Politician of the Year honor.
In 2010, she married fellow Scottish National Party politician Peter Murrell. Her mother, Joan Sturgeon, also had a career as a politician.
Following politician John Swinney's 2004 resignation as leader of the Scottish National Party, Sturgeon began serving under Swinney's successor, Alex Salmond, as the party's Depute Leader.