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. 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, 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


NewsJanuary 29, 2021
LBJ School of Public Affairs opens applications for LBJ Women's Campaign School

In 2021, more women than ever before are serving in elected office, and Americans saw the first woman and first woman of color sworn in as vice president. However, women still make up less than 30% of elected officials nationwide, and only 26% of the state legislature in Texas. That’s why the LBJ Women's Campaign School recently opened applications for its eight-month virtual program, which trains women to run for elected office or become campaign managers.

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January 20, 2021
"Es momento para empezar un capítulo nuevo": analista habla de su optimismo ante el Gobierno de Biden

Victoria DeFrancesco, analista política, dice que "entramos heridos" a la toma de posesión de Joe Biden, pero asegura sentirse optimista ante la nueva Administración. "Nos va a permitir como país sanar estas heridas", agregó.

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Media MentionJanuary 19, 2021
Latinos in the Biden administration shoulder high expectations, urgency to undo Trump policies

Obama White House veterans Julie Chávez Rodriguez and Adrian Saenz are heading back to Pennsylvania Avenue this week with a sense of urgency and a feeling of starting from scratch.

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