Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

Political Analyst, Social Scientist, and Academic Leader
Victoria Defrancesco Soto
  • Social scientist with expertise in campaigns and elections, immigration, Latinos, women, racial and ethnic minority politics, and political psychology
  • Contributor to MSNBC & Telemundo and previous on-air analyst for CNN, Fox, PBS, Univision, NPR, and has appeared on HBO’s "Real Time with Bill Maher
  • The first Latina Dean at a presidential institution
  • Named one of the top 12 scholars in the country by Diverse magazine
  • Applies social science research to on-the-ground political realities to provide a unique, outside-the-Beltway view on today’s real-world issues

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Passionate about making social science relatable to real-time political events, Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto is an analyst, academic, and social scientist with expertise in campaigns and elections, immigration, Latinos, women, racial and ethnic minority politics, and political psychology. A contributor to MSNBC and Telemundo, she is currently Dean of the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas – working with university leadership to cultivate and expand diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Victoria brings an interdisciplinary lens to understanding policy development and its intersection with institutional and political contexts. Applying high-quality social science research to on-the-ground political realities, she provides a unique, outside-the-Beltway view to today’s real-world issues. Using her nuanced understanding of key electorates – including women, Latino, and youth demographics – she thoughtfully unpacks the factors shaping the political landscape and expertly analyzes the state of the nation’s politics and elections.

For close to a decade, Victoria has been a contributor to MSNBC and, as well as Telemundo. Translating social science research into more relatable information for a wide variety of audiences, Victoria has previously provided on-air analysis for CNN, Fox, PBS, Univision, NPR, and has appeared on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. She is also published in both academic and popular outlets such as The Hill, POLITICO, and Talking Points Memo

Previously, Victoria served as Assistant Dean of Civic Engagement at the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs. In this role, she led a portfolio to build out civic life on and off campus with programs such as the LBJ Women’s Campaign School and the LBJ Civic Engagement Certificate program. She was selected as one of the University’s Game Changing faculty and oversaw the cultivation of a space that intentionally bridges communities and further integrates the policy world with the classroom. Victoria also served on the executive committee of the University of Texas’ Center for Mexican American Studies and chaired the campus climate committee for the Provost’s Council on LGBTQ+AEI.

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, where she was a National Science Foundation fellow. A native of Southern Arizona, Victoria is of Italian-Jewish-Mexican heritage and lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and their children.

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Speaker Video

MSNBC Victoria DeFrancesco Soto on Trump Concession Tweet and Biden Acceptance 11/15/20

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto on the State of TX During Last 4 Days Until 2020 Election

Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto on Post Presidential Debate Analysis

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto MSNBC - Morning Joe 10 15 20

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto MSNBC - Andrea Mitchell, 10 15 20

Unpacking Today’s Political Landscape. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto is a social scientist and academic leader who brings a fresh perspective to today’s political landscape and policy development. In this talk, she relates social science research to real-time political events, providing audiences with a unique, engaging, and outside-the-Beltway take on the political realities of the day. Using her nuanced understanding of key electorates such as women, Latino, and youth demographics, she expertly unpacks the state of national politics, and how these groups may shape future election cycles and domestic policies. A political analyst for major media outlets including MSNBC,, and Telemundo, Victoria provides a timely and nonpartisan look at the day’s news.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Named one of the top 12 scholars in the country by Diverse magazine, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto is widely acclaimed for her game changing efforts in cultivating and expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion in the academic world and beyond. Drawing on her social scientific areas of expertise – including immigration, civic engagement, Latinos, women, and racial and ethnic minority politics – she delivers a thought-provoking look at the domestic policies impacting social and economic equity today as well as the wider issues shaping the nation’s cultural realities. Demonstrating how these issues not only impact society at large, but also individual organizations, Victoria shares her experience-based insights on how to cultivate a dynamic atmosphere that bridges communities and fosters an inclusive environment for all.

Moderator. The perfect combination of seasoned on-screen analyst and academic leader and lecturer, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto is a skilled moderator for panel discussions and debates. With expertise in a wide range of topics including campaigns and elections, immigration, political psychology, civic engagement, ethnic and minority politics, and economic equity, she blends a journalistic approach with social scientific insights to facilitate meaningful conversations on the issues most important to your audience.

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