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White House tech advisor dies in cycling crash

Jake Brewer

Jake Brewer

Jacob Thomas "Jake" Brewer, a senior advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, died Sept. 19 in a cycling accident during the Ride to Conquer Cancer charity event.

Brewer worked as a close advisor to White House CTO Megan Smith. In a post on the White House blog, Smith mourned the loss of her colleague and friend, writing: "He had a generous heart and a vision for engaging with technology, data, and most importantly each other, to create opportunity and find solutions together. Jake lived and loved more in his 34 years than some people do in their whole lives."

At the White House, Brewer worked on the administration's TechHire initiative, designed to expand traditional and non-traditional educational opportunities in technology for low-income Americans; broadband expansion; and open data initiatives, spurring the release of workforce data by federal agencies. Before joining the administration, Brewer worked at Change.org, US Ignite, and the Sunlight Foundation.

"Armed with a brilliant mind, a big heart, and an insatiable desire to give back, Jake devoted his life to empowering people and making government work better for them," President Obama said in a statement.

Brewer, 34, is survived by his wife Mary Katharine Ham, their daughter Georgia, and a second baby on the way. Friends of the family have set up GoFundMe page to help provide for the education of the Brewer children, and to fund causes that Brewer backed during his life.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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