Born in Agrigento on 31 October 1970, he is married and has two children. He became barrister after graduating in Law at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan, and obtained a PhD in Corporate Law from the University of Palermo.
At 25, he was elected member of the Regional Assembly of Sicily, the youngest of its members. He was the leader of Forza Italia’s parliamentary group at the Assembly from 1998 to 2001, when he was elected to the Italian Parliament in the lists of Forza Italia, in the electoral district of Western Sicily. On 7 May 2008, he was appointed Minister of Justice. In the general elections of 2013, he was head of the list of the Popolo della Libertà (The People of Freedom) party in the election for the Chamber of Deputies in the following electoral districts: Sicily 1, Lazio 1, Piedmont 1 and Piedmont 2.
On 27 February 2013, he was re-elected MP of Popolo della Libertà at the Italian Parliament. From 28 April 2013 to February 2014, he was appointed Minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister in the Government led by Enrico Letta.
Since July 2013 he is President of the De Gasperi Foundation.
In November 2013, he founded the Nuovo Centrodestra (New Centre-Right), of which he is the leader. On 22 February 2014, he was appointed Minister of the Interior in the Government led by Matteo Renzi.
Since 13 December 2016, he is Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the Government led by Paolo Gentiloni.