Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto is a political scientist providing political analysis on US politics and its implications for countries abroad. Victoria is a contributor to MSNBC and NBCNews.com 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 widely 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 received her Ph.D. from Duke University during which time she was a National Science Foundation Fellow. She is currently a Professor at the University of Texas where she was selected as one of the University’s Game Changing faculty. Victoria teaches in the Department of Mexican-American and Latino Studies and is a Fellow at the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Named one of the top 12 scholars in the country by Diverse magazine Victoria previously taught at Northwestern University and Rutgers. Victoria also holds an honorary Doctoral degree from Northeastern Illinois University where she was privileged to serve as commencement speaker.
Beyond her classroom and media analysis work, Victoria is an active public speaker. Some of her featured speaking engagements include Harvard’s Latino Law, Policy, and Business Conference, Chicago’s Standard Club Lecture Series, and the U.S. State Department’s Public Diplomacy Program where Victoria spoke across the United Kingdom about the American electoral system. Victoria also enjoys working with professional organizations and businesses such as The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Public Radio International, Pzifer, and the Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs to provide practical political analysis and media training that is applicable to their issue agendas.
Victoria is a proud native of Southern Arizona. She is of Italian-Jewish-Mexican heritage and lives in beautiful Austin, Texas with her husband Neftali Garcia and their children.