Jake Brewer, an avid cyclist and a senior policy advisor to U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, passed away during a charity bike ride this weekend.
Brewer, 34, of Alexandria, died Saturday afternoon when his bicycle went out of control at a sharp curve while on a two-day, 150-mile bike ride to cure cancer, the Washington Post reported.
Brewer worked on several tech initiatives and recently on the White House Demo Day. He led global policy, external affairs, and new product development for Change.org before joining the Obama administration.
“We set out to recruit the best of the best to join their government and help us harness the power of technology and data to innovate new solutions for the 21st century. Simply put, Jake was one of the best,” wrote President Obama in a statement Sunday.
Many in the tech community and those who worked closely with Brewer have tweeted their condolences.
Brewer’s wife Mary Katharine Ham also posted an emotional message about the tragedy on her Instagram:
We lost our Jake yesterday, and I lost part of my heart and the father of my sweet babies. I don't have to tell most of you how wonderful he was. It was self-evident. His life was his testimony, and it was powerful and tender and fierce, with an ever-present twinkle in the eye. I will miss him forever, even more than I can know right now. No arms can be her father's, but my daughter is surrounded by her very favorite people and all the hugs she could imagine. This will change us, but with prayer and love and the strength that is their companion, we can hope our heartache is not in vain– that it will change us and the world in beautiful ways, just as he did. If that sounds too optimistic at this time, it's because it is. But there was no thought too optimistic for Jake, so take it and run with it. I will strive and pray not to feel I was cheated of many years with him, but cherish the gift of the years I had. In a life where nothing is guaranteed, Jake made the absolute, ever-lovin' most of his time with all of us. This is a family picture we took a couple weeks ago. It was taken because Jake, as always, was ready with a camera and his immense talent. All four members of our little, growing family are in it. I can never be without him because these babies are half him. They are made of some of the strongest, kindest stuff God had to offer this world. Please pray that he can see us and we'll all make him proud. God, I love him. Psalm 34:18, Philippians 1:3
Brewer is survived by his wife and young daughter. Family and friends launched a GoFundMe memorial project to create an educational fund in his honor.