Alexander Elliot Anderson "Alex" Salmond MSP ( /ˈsæmənd/; Scottish Gaelic: Ailig Salmond) born 31 December 1954) is a Scottish politician and current First Minister of Scotland. He became Scotland's fourth First Minister in May 2007. He is the Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), having served as Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Gordon. From 1987 to 2010 he served as Member of Parliament for Banff and Buchan in the UK House of Commons. Salmond previously held the position of leader of the SNP from September 1990 until he stepped down in September 2000.
Originally from Linlithgow, West Lothian, Salmond is a graduate of the University of St Andrews, where he achieved a Joint Honours MA in Economics and History. After earning his degree he began his career in the Government Economic Service (GES), and later joined the Royal Bank of Scotland as an energy economist where he wrote and broadcast extensively for both domestic and international media outlets.
Following the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999, he was elected MSP for Banff and Buchan, thus simultaneously representing the area as both Member of Parliament (MP) and MSP. Salmond resigned as SNP leader in 2000 and did not seek re-election to the Scottish Parliament. He did however retain his Westminster seat in the 2001 general election. Salmond was once again elected SNP leader in 2004 and the following year held his Banff and Buchan seat in the 2005 general election. In 2006 he announced his intention to contest the Gordon constituency in the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, an election in which Salmond defeated the incumbent MSP and in which nationally, the SNP emerged as the largest single party. Salmond was voted First Minister by the Scottish Parliament on 16 May 2007.