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


January 15, 2019
DeFrancesco Soto named LBJ School Director of Civic Engagement to lead diversity and inclusion efforts

Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto has been appointed Director of Civic Engagement at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School Dean Angela Evans announced today. DeFrancesco Soto, a lecturer at the LBJ School, is a nationally recognized expert on underrepresented communities and immigration and a nationally renowned public thought leader on race and politics.

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NewsDecember 10, 2018
LBJ Washington Center graduates DC Fellows class of 2018

The LBJ Washington Center hosted the third LBJ School of Public Affairs DC Concentration graduation ceremony in Washington, DC on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. LBJ School Dean Angela Evans and LBJ Washington Center Executive Director Tom O'Donnell presented remarks during an intimate ceremony for family and friends. 

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Media MentionMay 22, 2018
Beto O’Rourke is on a long, hard road

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, says the election odds strongly favor Cruz. “For the challenger,” she says, “there’s a path, but a narrow one.”

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