Former Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has been put in charge of health and a new national care service as part of the First Minister’s plan to rebuild from the pandemic.
Mr Yousaf takes the job which was vacated when Jeane Freeman stepped down from parliament at the election.
Highlands MSP Kate Forbes retains the finance brief, expanded to also cover the economy, and city and region growth deals.
Mairi Gougeon, the MSP for Angus North and Mearns, becomes Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands. The post includes responsibility for agriculture, food and drink policy, fisheries and aquaculture as well as cross-government coordination of policies for island communities.
Michael Matheson takes on a new role as Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport – a role which could have a major impact on the North Sea oil and gas sector.
Ms Sturgeon also appointed Shirley-Anne Somerville to the post of Education Secretary, after John Swinney was shifted to the new role of Coronavirus Recovery Secretary.
The First Minister had to give the news to the Dunfermline MSP over Zoom. Ms Somerville stayed in her home because one of her family members is in self-isolation.
Dundee MSP Shona Robison returns to a senior role as cabinet secretary for social justice, housing and local government.
Other appointments include Keith Brown as the new justice secretary. Former Moray MP Angus Robertson, now MSP for Edinburgh Central, in charge of culture, the constitution and external affairs
Ms Sturgeon said: “This term of office is unquestionably the most important one the nation has faced since devolution, more than 20 years ago. We are dealing with the joint challenges of a global pandemic and recovery from it, the ongoing tests posed by Brexit and the urgent, pressing need to take forward our net zero agenda as part of the global efforts to secure a greener future.
“The magnitude of these challenges is clear, but now is not a moment to shirk from those tasks but to embrace them. In the next five years, we have a chance to shape Scotland permanently for the better, creating a healthier, happier, fairer, more prosperous and more sustainable country for everyone who calls Scotland home, establishing a positive legacy for future generations.
“The immediate challenge is the focus on recovery and the part that all policy portfolios can play in that. But, as I have made clear, when the crisis is over and the time is right, Scotland must and will have the chance to choose its future in line with the unquestionable democratic mandate for that choice.”
Junior ministerial roles were also confirmed for the new-look government team.
They include a place for Moray MSP Richard Lochhead, who will work across the finance and new “net zero” energy departments. Graeme Dey, MSP for Angus South, will also work in the “net zero” department as transport minister.
Caithness, Sutherland and Ross MSP Maree Todd is public health minister under Mr Yousaf.
Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart loses his housing role for a position on mental wellbeing and social care.
Mid Fife and Glenrothes MSP Jenny Gilruth becomes culture, Europe and international development minister.
Opposition parties react
Scottish Conservative Stephen Kerr criticised the changes, claiming it was “uninspired”.
He said: “The best that Nicola Sturgeon can muster is the same tired faces that have already failed Scotland’s schools, hospitals and justice system.
“The Scottish Conservatives are building a real alternative to this uninspired, run-down SNP Government that already looks out of ideas for taking Scotland forward.”
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar congratulated the new government appointments and said: “This parliamentary term will be the most defining period for our nation since devolution and more than ever we need a government focused on recovery.
“Not only will the new government have to lead Scotland out of a pandemic, they will have to take action to rectify the several failings of the previous government, including the drugs death crisis and the looming exams debacle.”
Climate change and the constitution
Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said Mr Matheson has a key role to live up to in energy.
“Michael Matheson must now quickly demonstrate how the Government intends to change direction on transport policies, which have previously been one of the key reasons that climate targets have been missed,” she said.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie intends to oppose the appointment of a new constitution minister.
He said: “The appointment of a Cabinet Secretary for the constitution will distract effort and consume resources that should be used for recovery from the pandemic. Now is not the moment to appoint a minister for another referendum. We will oppose this appointment in parliament on Thursday.”