Daniel Commons accepted WashingtonExec’s Cybersecurity Government Executive of the Year award from Tara Kossari on Oct. 31.

Daniel Commons, the director of IT risk management and chief information security officer for the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid, has been named WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Award Cybersecurity Government Executive of the Year.

In its second year, the annual Pinnacle Awards luncheon was held Oct. 31 at the Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner. The luncheon drew over 525 GovCon leaders and professionals, and showcased exemplary GovCon leadership in industry and government.

Retired from the Air Force, Commons has about 35 years of federal service and 20 years of information assurance experience. He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including significant military awards, such as the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. 

Commons came to the Education Department in June 2015. He now leads the implementation of the department’s Federal Information Security Management Act and cybersecurity requirements related to keeping the $1.4 trillion FSA portfolio of information related to federal grants, loans and work-study funds both available and confidential. Under his leadership, the office updated its processes to reduce the time to receive authority to operate from nine to three months.

A recognized cybersecurity expert, Commons holds a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University and a master’s degree from Northern Montana University.