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

NewsOctober 26, 2020
Elections 2020: LBJ School Faculty Experts

Faculty from the LBJ School of Public Affairs are nationally and internationally recognized scholars and experts across a range of major policy topics, including the 2020 election at the local, state and federal levels. View our 2020 election experts guide below.

Where to watch LBJ School faculty 

Pre-election

Friday, Oct. 30: Steven Pedigo joins Fox 7 Austin for a special newscast on Propositions A and B; Airs at approximately 6 p.m. CT

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Media MentionOctober 16, 2020
The 2020 Shecession

A new report on the COVID-19 crisis by the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin and YWCA USA points to what most women know: this pandemic impacts working moms more than anyone else. The report called “America’s Recovery from the 2020 ‘Shecession’: Building a Female Future of Childcare and Work” details how the coronavirus pandemic is erasing half a century of women’s gains in the workforce. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, one of the researchers on this project, talks to the Standard.

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Media MentionOctober 16, 2020
What it will take for women to survive — and thrive — during this 'shecession'

We are living through our nation’s first female-driven recession. Fueled by disappearing service-sector jobs and a lack of childcare options, the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis has triggered a nationwide “shecession,” the ripple effects of which are already threatening the workforce and could imperil the female future of work.

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