Danfeng Soto-Vigil Koon

Danfeng Soto-Vigil Koon

Associate Professor

Full-Time Faculty


Danfeng Soto-Vigil Koon is an Associate Professor in the Leadership Studies department in the School of Education and the Faculty Co-Director of the Transformative School Leadership Program. Her research focuses on educational law and policy as a site of contestation and explores the ways that education law and policy further or impede efforts to create a more just society. Her passion and commitment to public education are informed by her work as an educator, lawyer, and organizer. Her courses provide educators and aspiring leaders with an opportunity to better understand the political and economic foundations of the educational systems they work within and against. Towards this goal, she teaches courses in Social Critical Theoretical Foundations, Advocacy and Policy, Pressing Urban Issues, Education Law, Organizational Systems, and Critical Policy Analysis.

Research Areas

  • Education law and policy
  • Political economy of K-12 education and education reform
  • Civil rights and education
  • K-12 school and district leadership


  • Co-Chair, Center for Humanizing Education and Research Steering Committee
  • Co-Chair, School of Education Faculty Association


  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley
  • JD, University of Maryland School of Law
  • EdM, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • BA, Economics and Biology, University of California, Berkeley

Awards & Distinctions

  • National Academy of Education/ Spencer Dissertation Fellowship, 2015 - 2016

  • Eugene Cota Robles Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, 2009 - 2011

  • DLA Piper Scholar, University of Maryland Law School 2006 - 2009

Selected Publications

  • Koon, D. S.-V. (2022). Critical education policy network analysis: Theoretical elaborations and methodological implications. International Journal of Educational Research. Special Issue: Stephen Ball.

  • Koon, D. S.-V. (2021). Why justice matters. In Winn, M. & Winn, L. (Eds.) Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Restorative Justice. Harvard Education Press: Cambridge, MA.

  • Koon, D. S.-V. (2020). Education Policy Networks: Co-optation, Coordination & Commodification of the School-to-Prison Pipeline Critique. American Educational Research Journal, 57 (1), 371 – 410.

  • Koon, D. (2013). Exclusionary School Discipline: An Issue Brief and Review of the Literature. Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, Berkeley Law.

  • Koon, D. (2010). Cal. Gov’t Code §11135: A Challenge to Contemporary State-funded Discrimination. Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, 7(2): 239-263.