Victoria DeFrancesco Soto


Director of Civic Engagement and Lecturer, LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin

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Victoria is the Director of Civic Engagement and a Lecturer at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas where she was selected as one of the University’s Game Changing faculty. Named one of the top 12 scholars in the country by Diverse magazine Victoria previously taught at Northwestern University and Rutgers and received her Ph.D in political science from Duke University.

Victoria’s social scientific areas of expertise include immigration, Latinos, women, racial and ethnic minority politics, as well as political psychology. Underlying all of her research interests is the intersection of social group identity and political participation.

Victoria is a contributor to MSNBC and as well as a regular political analyst for Telemundo. She has previously provided on-air analysis for CNN, Fox, PBS, Univision, NPR and has appeared on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Victoria is also published in both academic and popular outlets such as POLITICO and Talking Points Memo. Through these different outlets, Victoria translates social science research into a more relatable form of information for a wide variety of audiences.

Victoria is passionate about applying her expertise to dynamic “real world” issues outside of the academic setting working with professional organizations, businesses, and advocacy organizations.  Beyond the classroom Victoria is an active public speaker. Some of her featured speaking engagements include Harvard’s Latino Law, Policy, and Business Conference, the U.S. State Department’s Public Diplomacy Program, the YWCA National Conference, and Chicago’s Standard Club Lecture Series.

Victoria is a native of Southern Arizona and is a diehard Arizona Wildcats basketball fan. She is of Italian-Jewish-Mexican heritage and lives in beautiful Austin, Texas with her husband Neftali Garcia and their children. To learn more about Victoria or contact her please visit