"I’m asking for your vote because it’s time to put politics aside and make sure that City College students come first."

Victor is a Professor of Political Science, President of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Commission, Co-Chair of the California Democratic Party Resolutions Committee, and an elected delegate to the California Democratic Party, where he represents San Francisco's 17th Assembly District and has served as an advocate for progressive values and transparency for the past four years. He is a first-generation college student and proud product of public education and community college who went on to become an EMT, an US Army Officer, and a senior university administrator who now has nearly 20 years of professional experience in public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Victor was born and raised in Spain. He immigrated to the U.S. when he was 12-years-old, speaking only Spanish. He struggled to adjust and as his family struggled to make ends meet. By the time Victor graduated high school, he was working multiple jobs while his family was on food stamps and a four-year university was out of reach, and his only chance for higher education was to join his local community college on a partial scholarship to the track team. Victor persevered through tough economic, cultural, and academic challenges, eventually becoming the first in his family to graduate college, going on to earn a Master’s Degree, and ultimately a PhD.

When running track wasn’t enough to pay for college, Victor became an EMT and continued to work several part-time jobs to make ends meet. Learning that he needed a four-year degree, he left track behind to focus on his education, and joined the National Guard to help cover his tuition. After transferring to Arizona State University with the help of the National Guard, GI Bill, need-based grants, and three part-time jobs, Victor was finally on the path to a four-year degree.

When the U.S. was attacked on September 11, 2001, Victor’s unit in the National Guard was put on alert, and that is when he decided to devote his life to public service. After graduating two years later with a Political Science degree and certificate in International Relations, Victor joined US Army active duty and excelled, becoming a Military Intelligence Officer and being selected to advanced training opportunities and Ranger School. When an airborne training accident left Victor temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, he went through months of painful physical therapy, traction, epidural shots, and what seemed like endless treatments to walk and eventually run again.

That’s when Victor went back to where it all started: pursuing an education. Along the road to recovery and after serving as a Platoon Leader, Victor was accepted into the University of Louisville and started graduate school with a full-ride graduate assistantship. Going to physical training and therapy at 6:30am, working a full day on post as an Operations Officer from 9am-5pm, and attending graduate classes from 5:30-8:30pm, Victor completed his initial term of service and was able to graduate in under two years with a Master’s Degree in Political Science.

Victor continued to excel in higher education, with a full-ride graduate assistantship at University of Florida where he earned a PhD in Political Science and took on new leadership positions, guiding the next generation of students as Founder and Director of the Junior Fellows Program, and as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Political Science. Victor helped undergraduate students gain meaningful research experiences, insight into the profession of political science, and the ability to work closely with faculty members on advanced research. Victor earned a Fellowship at University of Edinburgh, where he designed and conducted cutting-edge research on the relationships between national identity, physiology, and social behavior, before coming back to the US to teach International Relations and Comparative Politics, and then moving to California to become a senior university administrator. 

As the Chief of Staff to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of California at Riverside, Victor was a member of the senior leadership team and integral to supporting the academic mission of one of the most diverse major research universities in the nation. He has since taken a lifetime of experience and service to the community to become a leader in the Democratic Party and as Co-Chair of the Resolutions Committee. Victor continues to teach our next generation of civic leaders as a Professor of Political Science and advocate for our veterans as President of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Commission.

Victor loves exploring this ever-changing city, trying out new restaurants, photography, hiking, and creative writing. You can often find him getting coffee or dinner in North Beach, having brunch on Polk Street, or taking long walks around the northern part of SF where he is a renter with his wife Shannon Hovis, who is the Director of NARAL Pro-Choice California.

Background & Accomplishments
  • Immigrated to the United States as a U.S. citizen born abroad when he was 12-years-old, speaking only Spanish.

  • First in his family to graduate college, attending Pima Community College and then Arizona State University to earn a Bachelor’s Degrees in Political Science and in Spanish Language and Literature.

  • Earned a Master’s Degree in Political Science from University of Louisville and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Florida.

  • Certified Emergency Medical Technician, trained at Pima Community College.

  • Pell Grant Recipient, joined Army National Guard to help pay for college and was put on alert when the U.S. was attached on September 11, 2001.

  • Fluent in English and Spanish, and with conversational ability in French, Italian, and Arabic.

Military Service
  • Graduated top of class in Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training, Officer Candidate School, Advanced Officer Basic Course, Scout Leaders Course, and Airborne School; selected for Ranger School.

  • Platoon Leader responsible for 19 soldiers and $18 million worth of equipment.

  • Operations Officer for post-level policies affecting thousands of soldiers and their families.

  • Received various commendations throughout service and an honorable discharge after the completion of first term of service.

Academic Leadership
  • While earning a PhD, elected Student Government Senator, President of Political Science Graduate Student Council, and served as an Editorial Committee Member for the Council for European Studies at Columbia University.

  • Completed PhD with dissertation project focused on identity politics and its effects on political behavior.

  • Founder and Director of the Junior Fellows Program at the University of Florida, a leadership development program that gained full adoption by the university; received a mentoring award for establishing and running the program for two years.

  • As a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Lecturer at the University of Florida, received instructor evaluations that were consistently higher than the average departmental and college ratings.

  • Published author with a book chapter, peer-reviewed article, and several conference papers.

  • Received numerous grants, scholarships, and awards, including a Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh to conduct cutting-edge research.

  • Developed, coordinated, and helped ensure the success of special projects and strategic initiatives that affected thousands of students at UC Riverside.

  • Supported the academic mission of UC Riverside by coordinating with teams throughout the university, serving as a conduit to the Provost for school units, project partners, and key stakeholders.

  • Helped formulate UC Riverside’s internal and external strategic communications.

  • Professor of Political Science, teaching Advanced Topics in US Politics, Advanced Topics in International Relations, and Comparative Politics.
Public Service
  • Co-Chair Resolutions Committee Member – California Democratic Party

  • President – Veterans Affairs Commission

  • Board of Trustees – Smuin Contemporary Ballet

  • Geary Community Advisory Council – SFMTA

  • Board Member, District 3 Director – Eastern Neighborhoods Democratic Club

  • Board Member – United Democratic Club

  • Member – Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club

  • Member – City Democratic Club

  • Member – Marines Memorial Club

  • Member – Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter