Jennifer Arcuri

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Jennifer Arcuri
Jennifer Arcuri at Second Home, London (18076470290).jpg
Arcuri in 2015
Born
Jennifer Marie Arcuri

February 1985 (age 36)
NationalityAmerican
Alma mater
OccupationTechnology entrepreneur
Years active2011–present
Children1
RelativesRichard Cates (grandfather)

Jennifer Marie Arcuri (born February 1985)[1] is an American technology entrepreneur. She lived in London from 2011 to 2018, before moving back to California. Self-described as an "ethical hacker",[2] she founded the white hat consultancy Hacker House in 2016[3][4] and organised the Innotech Network from 2012. Her connection to the then Mayor of London Boris Johnson from 2012 came to national attention in the UK in September 2019 when he became Prime Minister, triggering investigations into alleged conflicts of interest.[5] She said in 2021 that she had an affair with him from 2012 to 2016.[6]

Career[edit]

Arcuri previously lived in California and New York.[7] She studied politics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, theatre at Pace University in New York, filmmaking at the University of Southern California, and film at the American University in Paris for a summer. She briefly modelled and acted, including in a short film titled Commute.[5] In California, she worked in film, including digital distribution, and production, sending a short film titled La Valise to Cannes.[8] Acuri owned a video streaming site for filmmakers, Ubroadcast, until selling it to Diamond I in 2009.[8][9][10]

Technology[edit]

In 2008, Arcuri first visited London to take part in a Bollywood film, Naughty @ 40.[7][5] She moved to London in early 2011. Arcuri studied for an MBA at Hult International Business School, where she met Tom Hayes and founded software company Title X Technology with him in 2012, using developers in Bulgaria.[11] She defended Hayes in the Wall Street Journal after he came under investigation for the Libor scandal in 2013, for which he was later sentenced to 14 years in jail.[12] From 2012, Arcuri organised the Innotech Summit in London.[7] She founded the Tech Hotel in Shoreditch[7] and was involved with Founders for Schools. She also founded Playbox, a video social network for entrepreneurs.[7] She received an entrepreneur's visa after three years in the UK,[7] after raising over £200,000 in funding for Innotech.[13] By 2016, Innotech Network was noted as a meeting place for the tech industry and policymakers such as Boris Johnson.[14]

In November 2016, she worked with Sky News on a report that showed that the UK NHS had spent nothing on cyber-security during 2015; she noted that security was generally lacking in NHS trusts.[15][16]

In 2016, she headed the Tech London Advocates working group on cyber tech.[17] She also founded Hacker House in 2016, a consultancy that advises and trains on cybersecurity,[3] coming out of a "Legislating LulzSec" event run by Innotech in October 2014.[18] Hacker House received a grant from the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund in 2019, sharing £500,000 with three other projects.[19][20]

Acuri has encouraged other women and girls to become involved in the sector and ran the PinkSheet, a list of UK women expert professionals.[21][4]

She spoke at TEDxLiverpool in 2016[8] and at TEDxManchester in 2017.[22]

Recognition[edit]

Arcuri was recognised several times by Computer Weekly: in 2016, she was named as one of five "rising stars" among women in UK IT;[23] she was named 18th of 50 of the "most influential women in UK tech" in 2017;[24] she was longlisted for the same award in 2018 and 2019.[25][26]

SC Magazine listed Acuri among twenty "women to watch" in UK cybersecurity in 2017.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Arcuri's grandfather was lawyer Richard Cates. His daughter Christine Jendrzejewski is Arcuri's mother.[27] Arcuri is married to Matthew Hickey, the co-director of Hacker House, with whom she had a daughter in 2017. They moved to Orange County, California in June 2018.[28][5]

Relationship to Boris Johnson[edit]

Arcuri had a close friendship with then-Mayor of London Boris Johnson,[29] with The Sunday Times describing him as a regular visitor to her flat,[30] and implying they were in a sexual relationship.[31] Innotech, her company, was awarded £10,000 from a mayoral fund in 2013, followed the next year by Arcuri being awarded £15,000 from a government programme. Johnson intervened to allow her onto three trade mission trips.[32] The Sunday Times claimed in September 2019 that Johnson failed to declare his personal relationship as a conflict of interest.[33] Later that month, the Greater London Authority referred Johnson and his actions in the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) "so it can assess whether or not it is necessary to investigate the former mayor of London for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office". The IOPC is involved because the Mayor is also London's police and crime commissioner.[34] The London Assembly commenced its own investigation, but paused it at the IOPC's request in order to avoid overlap. On 9 November 2019, it was revealed that the IOPC, which had been due to publish a report on its investigation, had decided to do so after the general election of 12 December.[35]

On 22 May 2020, the IOPC announced that they would not proceed with a criminal investigation. The IOPC said in its statement "While there was no evidence that Mr. Johnson influenced the payment of sponsorship monies or participation in trade missions, there was evidence to suggest that those officers making decisions about sponsorship monies and attendance on trade missions thought that there was a close relationship between Mr. Johnson and Ms. Arcuri, and this influenced their decision-making."

On 17 October 2020, Arcuri said that her relationship with Johnson had been sexual.[36] On 28 March 2021, she said their affair lasted from 2012 to 2016.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hacker House". Companies House.
  2. ^ Lofthouse, Katherine (12 December 2016). "WOMEN BLAZING A TRAIL IN TECHNOLOGY: FROM ABIOLA TO BURNS". BusinessCloud. Archived from the original on 22 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b Magee, Tamlin (23 May 2018). "Applying the Hacker Mindset to Cybersecurity Strategy". CIO.
  4. ^ a b c O'Flaherty, Kate (5 September 2017). "Women of influence in UK cyber security 2017: 20 women to watch". SC Media.
  5. ^ a b c d Robinson, Edward (30 October 2019). "The Unsettled Life of Boris Johnson Pal Jennifer Arcuri". Bloomberg Businessweek.
  6. ^ a b Dunne, John (28 March 2021). "Jennifer Arcuri admits four year affair with Boris Johnson". Evening Standard. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Cocking, Simon (27 December 2014). "Jennifer Arcuri interview, entrepreneur and organiser of London Innotech Summit". Irish Tech News.
  8. ^ a b c "TEDxLiverpool". TED. 26 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Jennifer Arcuri - Hacker Extraordinaire". Breakfast With Tiffany. 6 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Ubroadcast". Crunchbase.
  11. ^ Vaughan, Liam; Finch, Gavin (24 January 2017). The Fix: How Bankers Lied, Cheated and Colluded to Rig the World's Most Important Number. John Wiley & Sons. p. 132.
  12. ^ Enrich, David (8 February 2013). "Wie der Rain Man sein Libor-Netz spann". Wall Street Journal.
  13. ^ Loizou, Kiki (21 July 2013). "Open up, Britain. I've got big plans". The Sunday Times.
  14. ^ Jervis, Shivvy (4 March 2016). "Silicon Valley vs London? Hacker House's Jen Arcuri debates". The Blog. Huffington Post.
  15. ^ Erlanger, Steven; Bilefsky, Dan; Chan, Sewell (12 May 2017). "U.K. Health Service Ignored Warnings For Months". New York Times.
  16. ^ Cheshire, Tom (16 November 2016). "NHS patients being put 'at risk' because of cybersecurity flaws". Sky News.
  17. ^ McDonald, Clare (5 August 2016). "Tech London Advocates launches four new tech-focused working groups". Computer Weekly.
  18. ^ Cocking, Simon (April 2016). "Hack the house with Jennifer Arcuri's latest startup, Hacker House". Irish Tech News.
  19. ^ McDonald, Clare (19 January 2019). "DCMS funding fuels cyber diversity drive". Computer Weekly.
  20. ^ Cotton, Barney (28 January 2019). "NEW FUNDING WILL HELP DRIVE DIVERSITY IN CYBER SECURITY". Business Leader.
  21. ^ O'Flaherty, Kate (16 June 2017). "Plugging the gap: Why are fewer women getting into cybersecurity?". SC Media.
  22. ^ "Jennifer Arcuri". TEDxManchester.
  23. ^ McDonald, Clare (23 June 2016). "Most influential women in UK IT 2016: Rising Stars". Computer Weekly.
  24. ^ McDonald, Clare (4 October 2017). "18. Jennifer Arcuri, founder, InnoTech Network and Hacker House". Computer Weekly.
  25. ^ McDonald, Clare (12 July 2018). "Most influential women in UK tech: The 2018 longlist". Computer Weekly.
  26. ^ McDonald, Clare (12 July 2019). "Most Influential Women in UK Tech: The 2019 longlist". Computer Weekly.
  27. ^ Gardner, David (26 September 2019). "Jennifer Arcuri: Grandfather of entrepreneur linked to Boris Johnson led probe into Watergate scandal". Evening Standard.
  28. ^ McQuillan, Martin (27 September 2019). "Boris Johnson's 'close personal friend' Jennifer Arcuri left the UK to 'escape Brexit'". The New European.
  29. ^ "PM Defends Actions over Conflict of Interest Claims". BBC News. 23 September 2019.
  30. ^ May Bulman (22 September 2019). "Boris Johnson facing questions over relationship with ex-model Jennifer Arcuri". The Independent. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  31. ^ Coates, Sam (25 September 2019). "Boris Johnson breaks silence on relationship with entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri". Sky News.
  32. ^ "Boris Johnson Facing Questions over Giving Public Money to American Woman". 22 September 2019.
  33. ^ Matthew Weaver. "Boris Johnson urged to justify 'awarding public funds to close friend'". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  34. ^ "PM's links to Arcuri referred to police watchdog". 27 September 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  35. ^ Townsend, Mark (10 November 2019). "Fury as decision on police inquiry into PM shelved until after election". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  36. ^ Guardian Staff (17 October 2020). "Jennifer Arcuri 'admits to Boris Johnson affair'". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 October 2020.

External links[edit]