Was born on 7 April 1949 in the city of Shepetovka, Ukraine.
Graduated from Leningrad Chemistry and Pharmaceutics Institute (1972), Social Sciences Academy of CPSU Central Committee (1985).
Retrained at the Diplomatic Academy of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1991.
1986 was Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of the Leningrad City Council.
1989-Elected to the Soviet Parliament, chairing the Soviet Supreme Council Committee for Women, Families, Maternity and Childhood.
1991-94-Ambassador of the Soviet Union/Russia to the Republic of Malta.
1995-97-Head of the Foreign Ministry's Department for Liaison with Regions, Parliament, Non-Governmental and Political Organizations.
1997-98-Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Greece.
1998-2003-Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation for Social Policy.
2003-Appointed Plenipotentiary Presidential Representative in Northwest Russia.
2003- 2011 - Governor of St.Petersburg.
On 21 September 2011 was unanimously elected Chairperson of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and in 2014 she was re-elected to this high position.
Matviyenko was considered, until recent years, to be the highest-ranking female politician in Russia.
She is married, has a son and a granddaughter.
Leisure activities: theatre, painting, sports (tennis, alpine skiing).