Soto, Victoria Maria De Francesco | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
Education
  • 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. She 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, Dr. 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.

She is a contributor to MSNBC and NBCNews.com, 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. Dr. 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

Newsworthy

NewsDecember 17, 2020
2020 Outstanding Alumni Awards: Alejandra Castillo (MPAff '98) and Lauren Rose (MPAff '10) talk about using LBJ's lessons in public service

Two public affairs graduates were honored as outstanding alumni of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin on Dec. 14. Alejandra Castillo, (MPAff '98), president and CEO of the YWCA, is the recipient of the school’s highest alumni honor, the Distinguished Public Service Award (DPSA). Lauren Rose (MPAff '10), public policy director at the Texas Network of Youth Services, is the recipient of the Rising Leader Award (RLA).

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NewsNovember 18, 2020
LBJ School honors outstanding graduates with 2020 alumni awards

Two public affairs graduates will be honored as outstanding alumni of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin on Monday, Dec. 14.  Alejandra Castillo, a 1998 public affairs graduate and president and CEO of the YWCA, is the recipient of the school’s highest alumni honor, the Distinguished Public Service Award (DPSA). Lauren Rose, a 2010 public affairs graduate and public policy director at the Texas Network of Youth Services, is the recipient of the Rising Leader Award (RLA).

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Media MentionNovember 8, 2020
Trump gains with Latino voters driven by rural support

“Texas Republicans have a history of having an okay relationship with Latinos,” said Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, a political scientist at the University of Texas’s Lyndon Johnson School of Public Affairs. 

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