Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

Dean and Professor
Clinton School of Public Service

As dean of the Clinton School – the first school in the nation to offer a master’s in public service (M.P.S.), I get to build out the next generation of public service changemakers. And I find myself in this position – the best job in the world – after I was nominated to apply for the position.


One practice I use to maintain my mental health

My husband, the kiddos and I have dinner together every night. No matter how hectic our days may be, we have a space to ourselves where we are together.

Biggest challenges in my career

Taking a nontraditional route and pushing back against the push back. It wasn't easy but it was well worth it!

Best career moment so far

When I secured my first gift to support scholarships. Scholarships are not only an investment in the students, but of our communities where our students will be social changemakers.

How I knew this was my passion

I was a student council nerd. I knew early on that all things public service were my passion!

Nonprofit I wish more people knew about

The Clinton School! We are an amazing institution that centers our curriculum on field service projects – the majority of them here in Arkansas.

What I learned from my first job

I was a hostess at JB’s when I was in high school (kind of like a Denny’s). I learned patience and diplomacy in dealing with unhappy and/or hangry customers!

What keeps me coming back to my job every day

The students. Their optimism, drive and creativity. I know it sounds cliché, but they are our future, and I’m so lucky to engage with them.

A skill I never expected to need in this field

Most of the skills I had anticipated and practiced as assistant dean, but the sheer volume and intensity of the position is something you don't get until you're in it.



Sierra Vista, AZ

I can't start my day until

Cup of dark roast with one sugar


Hanging with my family

Binge watch


Last good read

“The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles

Favorite meal in town

Hillcrest Bakery has the best biscuits!

Best recent local discovery

Flora Jean's

Latest splurge

Veronica Beard Blazer

Most-used app


Dream vacation