Remembering Jake Brewer

Husband, Optimist, Father, Dreamer, Brother, Friend, Artist, Son

January 20, 1981 - September 19, 2015

More information
Please give to theJake Brewer Memorial Education Fund

Photos of and by Jake Brewer

Memorial Information

Remembering Jake Brewer:
Husband, Optimist, Father, Dreamer, Brother, Friend, Artist, Son

Services for Jake Brewer will be held Friday, September 25th, 2015, at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

Doors open at 10:30 am; the service is at 11:30 am.

Parking will be very limited – please consider other modes of transportation. Uber and Lyft riders can use the code “JakeBrewer” on Friday for discounted rides.

Gentlemen, please consider honoring Jake’s aversion to neckties by going “Jake casual” and skipping the accessory. Suggested attire for military personnel is dress uniform.

All press must be credentialed. For more information, email Brad Bauman.

Flowers will not be accepted by the Cathedral; in lieu of flowers, please send contributions in Jake’s memory to:
– The Jake Brewer Memorial Education Fund
– The Travis Manion Foundation, which supports families of fallen US servicemen.
– Code for America, which builds technology to making government services better

Uber and Lyft have generously provided discount codes for memorial attendees. Please use the code “JakeBrewer” for rides on Friday. More details are below.

Uber users can use the code “JakeBrewer”. Up to 100 rides will be free up to $20 if they’re picked up or dropped off at the National Cathedral between 10:30 am-1:30 pM on Friday. Instructions for using an Uber promo code can be found here.

Lyft users can use the code JAKEBREWER and riders will need to enter the code into their own Lyft apps. The code will work for both new and existing users, and will grant 2 half-off rides up to $10. Rides must take place in DC on Friday 9/25. Instructions for using a Lyft promo code can be found here.

Email or call Adam Conner 202.669.5671.


Washington National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

The family invites you to a reception following the memorial at Town Hall from 1 pm to 5 pm.
Town Hall
2340 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Parking will be very limited, please consider other options before driving. Information on the limited National Cathedral parking garage can be found here.

Luggage Storage
For passengers coming to or from the airport, the National Cathedral will not allow the storage of luggage on premise for security reasons. Please do not bring luggage to the National Cathedral as you will not be allowed to enter the building. Town Hall, the venue for the post-memorial reception, has generously offered to hold luggage for memorial attendees. Town Hall’s address is 2340 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007.

From the Family

Message from Jake’s Family on the Jake Brewer Memorial Fund
5pm ET, Monday Sept 21, 2015

Over the past 24 hours, we’ve seen a tremendous show of support for Jake, Mary Katharine, the Brewers and the Hams. That they surpassed their goal so quickly is a true testament to them, to the many lives they have touched, to the love they have spread and to the joy they have brought to so many.

This ongoing support is helping to guarantee that Jake and Mary Katharine’s children will be fully provided for as they grow up, go to school, and pursue their passions. We are deeply moved and humbled. Thank you and God bless.

Statement from Mary Katharine Ham

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

A photo posted by Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammertime) on


President Barack Obama
Statement by the President on the Passing of White House Staffer Jake Brewer

“I am heartbroken at the tragic loss of one of my advisors, Jake Brewer. 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. 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. He worked to give citizens a louder voice in our society. He engaged our striving immigrants. He pushed for more transparency in our democracy. And he sought to expand opportunity for all. I’ve often said that today’s younger generation is smarter, more determined, and more capable of making a difference than I was as a young man. Jake was proof of that. Michelle and I are praying for all of Jake’s family and his many friends, most of all his wife, Mary Katharine Ham, their daughter, Georgia, and their growing family. They’ll always have a family here at the White House.”

White House Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith
On the Passing of White House Staffer Jake Brewer

“Throughout his career, Jake traveled across the country and around the world collaborating with teammates to help improve the lives of others. His story is filled with high impact adventures in service, inclusion and “doing.” He was an awesome addition to the White House family.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on the passing of Jake Brewer

Bill O’Reilly and Juan Williams on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News

Chris Hayes on “All in with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC

Define American

Code for America
Remembering Jake Brewer

Sunlight then helped get Code for America off the ground, and Jake came to work with us that first year, on a project we did to help veterans find jobs that matched their skills. He was so proud to wear his Code for America track jacket, and so beloved by the team he guided from DC, who were delighted to find someone both so operationally astute and savvy in the ways of Federal government but also so genuine, caring, and at ease in the world of tech. Jake served as an informal advisor, cheerleader, connector, and champion in all his subsequent work, including most recently, the tour of duty he’d just begun in the office where I spent a year, the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House.”

Hugh Hewitt
Jake Brewer, RIP

“I didn’t know Jake, only his wonderful, talented spouse, who has been part of the Salem Media Group family for most of the past decade and a frequent guest and guest host on my radio show along with her close friend and now co-author Guy Benson. Mary Katharine’s infectious good humor has captured hearts as diverse as Bill O’Reilly’s and Juan Williams’, but it belonged only to Jake and their children.”

Micah Sifry, Civic Hall

“Today it isn’t just progressives like me who are mourning him, but some libertarians and conservatives are mourning too, because Jake was both personally and professionally someone who saw beyond the red-blue divide. He was searching for a way forward, not left or right. Like many of us, he felt in his gut that the Internet offered a new and better way of doing things, including government. And now the best tribute I can imagine to him is that we try to continue his work. May his memory be a blessing.”

News Stories

Washington Post
‘I lost part of my heart’: Beloved White House staffer Jake Brewer mourned

Tech Crunch
Tech Community Grieves Over The Death Of White House Tech Advisor Jake Brewer

Roll Call
Friends Remember Jake Brewer, Beloved White House Staffer

Huffington Post
Jake Brewer’s Immigration Legacy May Last For Years

Grief over young White House staffer

Huffington Post
Obama Mourns White House Staffer Jake Brewer

Tech Community Mourns Loss of White House Adviser Jacob Brewer

About Jake


Jacob Thomas Brewer
January 20, 1981 – September 19, 2015

Jake Brewer died at 3:40 pm on September 19, 2015 in a bike accident.

Brewer, of Alexandria, Virginia, was a senior policy adviser in the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House and previously worked as the director of external affairs at

“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. He worked to give citizens a louder voice in our society. He engaged our striving immigrants. He pushed for more transparency in our democracy. And he sought to expand opportunity for all,” President Obama said in a statement.

Jake is survived by his wife Mary Katharine Brewer and daughter Georgia.

From Jake Brewer’s Website

Jake is generally obsessed with solving critical problems at scale – though no problem more so than building citizens’ capacity to have real impact in executive offices and the halls of government.

Jake’s Photos on Flickr

Selected Works
“The Problem with Petitions: Working with Leaders, Not Just at Them” from Personal Democracy Forum 2014

GM Goes Grassroots. A Son is Torn.
The Huffington Post, 12/19/2008

The Tragedy of Political Advocacy
The Huffington Post, 5/25/2011

My “Illegal” Brother Defines American
The Huffington Post, 7/7/2011

Share Memories of Jake

Please share your memories of Jake

The family would love to hear your memories about Jake. You can leave them in the form below or you can email stories and photos to

Stay Updated