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. 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 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. 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

NewsMarch 26, 2020
LBJ School launches virtual series, 'LBJ In the Arena,' to explore public policy’s critical role in dealing with COVID-19

In recent weeks, COVID-19 has reshaped the way Americans live, work, learn and govern. In response, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin will convene "LBJ In the Arena," an eight-week virtual event series exploring the impact of COVID-19 on our communities, starting April 1, 2020.

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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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Media MentionMarch 2, 2020
Will 2020 be the year young Texans show up to vote? Experts are ‘cautiously optimistic’

Will young people in Texas show up to vote in 2020? "'I think we can be cautiously optimistic,' said Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, assistant dean for civic engagement at The University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs.

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