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 assistant dean for civic engagement and a lecturer at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, 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 MentionMay 27, 2020
Elizabeth Warren's softening on Medicare signals she's serious about being Biden's VP

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's continued evolution in how she talks about health care serve as the latest signal to former Vice President Joe Biden that she's serious about being seen as a viable governing partner, as his campaign's search for a vice presidential nominee accelerates.

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April 29, 2020
Modeling COVID-19 and Its Policy Applications

LBJ School Assistant Dean of Civic Engagement Victoria DeFrancesco Soto talked with Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyers, a professor in the Departments of Integrative Biology and Statistics and Data Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Meyers has been at the forefront of modeling COVID-19 outbreaks and informing government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the White House Office for Science and Technology. 

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Media MentionMarch 6, 2020
Glass ceiling remains intact as Elizabeth Warren bows out of presidential race

Elizabeth Warren's departure from the 2020 race closes the door on the possibility of a woman becoming president in 2020. Ali Vitali, the LBJ School's Victoria DeFrancesco Soto and Adora Jenkins join Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC to discuss what this means in the fight to break the glass ceiling.

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