Soto, Victoria Maria De Francesco | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D. in Political Science, Duke University
  • M.A. in Political Science, Duke University
  • B.A. in Political Science & Latin American Studies, University of Arizona
  • Political Psychology Summer Institute, Stanford University
  • ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research, University of Michigan
Research Areas
  • Campaigns & Elections
  • Immigration
  • Women & Politics
Teaching Areas
  • Social Policy

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto is a lecturer at The University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she was selected as one of UT’s Game Changers. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Department of Mexican-American and Latino Studies and the Center for Mexican American Studies. Soto received her Ph.D. in political science from Duke University, during which time she was a National Science Foundation Fellow. Named one of the top 12 scholars in the country by Diverse magazine, she previously taught at Northwestern University and Rutgers.

In her research and teaching, DeFrancesco Soto brings an interdisciplinary lens to the understanding of American politics and policy. Her areas of expertise include immigration, women and politics, political psychology, and campaigns and elections. 

DeFrancesco Soto is a contributor to MSNBC and, as well as a regular political analyst for Telemundo. She has provided on-air analysis for CNN, Fox, PBS, Univision and NPR, and has appeared on HBO’s "Real Time with Bill Maher." Most recently, she was a featured expert in the PBS documentary "Willie Velasquez: Your Vote is Your Voice," about the civil rights trailblazer. DeFrancesco Soto also has been published in both academic and popular outlets such as POLITICO, Talking Points Memo and Perspectives on Politics, where she has translated social science research into a more relatable form of information for a wide variety of audiences. 

Media Expertise
  • Latino Public Policy
  • State & National Campaign Politics
  • Immigration
  • Women in Politics


Media MentionJuly 15, 2019
The fundamental flaw of ICE raids to deter immigration

LBJ School Professor Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto says ICE raids do not work because the root causes of immigration to the U.S. are ignored. 

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FeatureMay 24, 2019
The Graduating Class of 2019: Wayne Holstine

"Some of my favorite memories have been working with the Pride Policy Alliance. From our end-of-semester movie night to our happy hours to our LGBTQIA+ awareness events, I've been able to build a community of like-minded people to get through the craziness that is the LBJ experience," said Wayne Holstine (MPAff '19) a few days before the LBJ School's 2019 graduation ceremony. 

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NewsMay 2, 2019
Panel explores the state of LGBT policy in Texas

On Tuesday, April 30, the LBJ School, along with the Pride Policy Alliance and PRRI, the Public Religion Research Institute, hosted another installment of its new Civic Engagement Series: “Fifty Years After Stonewall: LGBT Rights and Policy.” Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, the LBJ School’s director of civic engagement, moderated a panel that included Robert P. Jones, Ph.D., founding CEO of PRRI; Emma Platoff of The Texas Tribune; and David Edmonson of TechNet.

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