Emanuel Psaila was born in 1968 in Marsaxlokk but spent most of his childhood and adulthood in Żejtun.
In 1986 he joined the Public Service where, following a two-year apprenticeship, he worked in the restoration section of the Valletta Rehabilitation Project.
He joined the Civil Protection Department upon its inception in 1999, as part of its first recruitment. For 16 years he served as Assistance and Rescue Officer, until he was given his first role in the department's administration. He served as Public Relations Manager and then as Deputy Director, going on to become the fifth Director of the Civil Protection Department in 2017 and Director General three years later.
During his career he has also sat on several boards and committees, most notably as President of the Civil Protection Association for 14 years, member of the Academy for Disciplined Forces and member of the National Book Council.
He has a Bachelor of Arts in Maltese and a Masters in Maltese Literature. His writings have been acknowledged with literary awards and published in journals and anthologies.
In 2021 he was declared Manager of the Year in the National Worker of the Year Award. Between April 2022 and September 2023 he served as a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality. In September 2023 he was appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Social and Affordable Accomodation.
Emanuel Psaila is married and has a daughter.