2017 Nominees for WFRN Officers & Executive Committee Member


Nominees for Co-President


Kathleen Christensen

Kathleen Christensen, Ph.D., Program Director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

  • Professional background and interests:
    Kathleen Christensen, Ph.D., directs the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Working Longer program. Previously, Dr. Christensen established and led Sloan’s pioneering program on working families. Beginning in 1994, she laid out a strategic vision for multidisciplinary work-family research, which resulted in $130 million of Sloan funding for what became the first generation of work-family research and the development of WFRN.  Based on early research findings, she articulated the underlying conflict between work and family as being the direct result of a structural workplace/workforce mismatch. She then designed and spearheaded the first coalition-led national workplace flexibility campaign, with the goal of making workplace flexibility a compelling national issue and the standard of the American workplace. This campaign began in 2003, lasting nearly a decade, and spawned many research studies and advocacy projects related to advancing workplace flexibility. Prior to joining Sloan, she was a Professor of Psychology at the Graduate Center of City University of New York, where she conducted some of the earliest research on work at home, as well as contingent work. Author and editor of seven books, Dr. Christensen planned and spoke at the 2014 White House Summit on Working Families and the 2010 White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility, both of which were informed by Sloan-supported research and messaging. In 2010, Dr. Christensen was named by Working Mother magazine as one of the “Seven Wonders of the Work-Life Field,” for being the “foremost strategic supporter of work-life research and practices.” The Families and Work Institute honored her with its inaugural Work Life Legacy Award as a founder of the work-life field. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including from the Danforth, Mellon, and Rockefeller Foundations, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities.

  • Platform:
    If elected as co-presidents, Drs. Christensen and Pitt-Catsouphes will work with WFRN members to foster innovative ideas for the next generation of work-family research.  We will support the further expansion of opportunities for collaborative, multi-disciplinary investigations.  Furthermore, we plan to explore options so that the bi-annual conference continues to be a premier forum for celebrating research accomplishments and also becomes a unique event where researchers can engage in study design, gather data "on-the-spot," and pilot test new approaches to data collection and analyses.  Kathleen and Marcie are committed to conference-based forums for advancing research partnerships with the public and private sectors.


Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes

Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Ph.D., Professor of Social Work, Boston College

  • Professional background and interests:
    Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Ph.D., is a Professor at the Boston College School of Social Work and has an appointment at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.  She founded the Sloan Work and Family Research Network in 1997 which has evolved into WFRN - the premier, multi-disciplinary research association for scholars studying a range of work-family issues.  From 2005–2015, she co-founded and served as Director of the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College which conducts research and promotes the quality of employment for older adults. Dr. Pitt-Catsouphes was the Co-Principal Investigator for the 2014-15 Time and Place Management Study. This intervention research used random assignment to examine outcomes associated with the implementation of flexible work options at a large healthcare organization. She was the Principal or Co-Investigator for a range of investigations including:  the 2006 National Study of Business Strategy and Workforce Development, the 2007-08 Age & Generations Study, the 2009 Talent Management Study, and the 2010-11 Generations of Talent Study, an investigation that gathered data from over 11,000 employees working in eleven different countries.  Working with Dr. Stephanie Berzin at Boston College, she co-founded the Center for Social Innovation at Boston College. This center has conducted a range of studies and has gathered data about the engagement of non-profits in social innovation initiatives. Dr. Pitt-Catsouphes was the Co-Principal Investigator for a study exploring organizational outcomes associated with The Purpose Prize which is awarded to older adult social entrepreneurs.  Dr. Pitt-Catsouphes established the Social Innovation Lab at Boston College which works with non-profits and supports their social innovation initiatives. Since 2014, Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes has been the Director of the Social Work Doctoral Program at Boston College.

  • Platform:
    If elected as co-presidents, Drs. Christensen and Pitt-Catsouphes will work with WFRN members to foster innovative ideas for the next generation of work-family research.  We will support the further expansion of opportunities for collaborative, multi-disciplinary investigations.  Furthermore, we plan to explore options so that the bi-annual conference continues to be a premier forum for celebrating research accomplishments and also becomes a unique event where researchers can engage in study design, gather data "on-the-spot," and pilot test new approaches to data collection and analyses.  Kathleen and Marcie are committed to conference-based forums for advancing research partnerships with the public and private sectors.


Nominees for Vice President


Anne Bardoel

Anne Bardoel, Associate Professor of Management, Monash University, Australia

  • Professional background and interests:
    The work-family research community has been an important source of research inspiration and friendship over many years and I would like to give back. My work-life journey started when I began my thesis looking at organisational characteristics associated with the provision of work-life practices and has then taken me on a rewarding path to researching quality part-time work, family time economies, global work-life management, and more recently multigenerational care.  I have published manuscripts in highly ranked journals such as Demographic Research, Gender, Work and Organization, Human Resource Management, Sociology, and the International Journal of Human Resource Management.  As an Australian, I have valued relationships with international research colleagues. I have a strong commitment to working on research that has practical implications and seek to translate my research to high level community and industry engagement. Currently I am a member of the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency Advisory Group and have previously held positions as a member of the Victorian Government’s Working Families Council and President of the Work/Life Association (Australia). In these roles, I have actively promoted discussion among researchers, business leaders and policy makers about work-life issues.
  • Platform
    So, what can I do for members of the Work and Family Researchers Network? As Vice President, I see my role as promoting high quality research and networking opportunities for members. Part of this is based on my absolute belief that the "stuff" we do is important for our families, communities and nations. My role will be to actively work with fellow Executive members to ensure the WFRN continues to develop as an important international community of scholars that provides mentorship for researchers at the beginning of their journey and throughout their careers.  I will also seek to encourage new and underrepresented research agendas.


Clare Kelliher

Clare Kelliher, Professor of Work and Organisation, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, UK

  • Professional background and interests:
    Professor Kelliher’s research interests focus on the organisation of work and the management of the employment relationship.  She has a long standing interest in flexible working and has conducted research into the implementation and outcomes of flexible working arrangements in a variety of different contexts.  She has led a number of research projects involving consortia of sponsoring companies and is always concerned to ensure that the findings of research have real world impact and contribute to better outcomes for employees, employers and wider society.  She is currently involved in conducting research into how employers’ desires to become more agile may, or may not, align with the interests of employees for greater flexibility to balance work and non-work activities. She has worked actively with a range of policy organisations and with national and regional government bodies to influence how research findings can shape policy and practice.  Her own work (conducted with her colleague Dr. Deirdre Anderson) has been used as evidence to support change in legislation.

  • Platform:
    If elected, I will work to enhance the WFRN’s sphere of influence in relation to both academic research and practice.  In addition, I will seek to grow the international profile of WFRN, including a more international base of membership. I am also keen to ensure that the perspectives adopted on both work and family encompass contemporary work patterns and contemporary lifestyles.  It is important, for example, to examine the work-life concerns of those working under non-traditional employment relationships and those of the self-employed.  Likewise, it is also important to include the work-life considerations of those with a range of different care responsibilities and those without traditional caring responsibilities.



Nominees for Executive Committee Member


Naomi Gerstel

Naomi Gerstel, Distinguished University Professor and Professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

  • Professional background and interests:
    Recently funded by NSF, the Sloan, Spencer, and Russell Sage Foundations, Professor Gerstel has focused on inequalities -- whether in marriages or extended families, family and work policies, hours and schedules, or familial involvement in schools.  Her current research addresses the ways racial and class differences in families’ involvement in college students’ lives sustain inequality among them. Professor Gerstel is a past chair of the ASA family section and recipient of the Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Robin Williams, William Goode, Max Weber Distinguished Book, and Labor Studies Distinguished Book awards. She is co-editor of the Families in Focus series and recently co-authored the books Unequal Time  (Russell Sage Foundation Press) and Nuclear Family Values, Extended Family Lives (Routledge Press) and has published papers on family and work issues in numerous journals.

  • Platform:
    If elected, I would like to help WFRN remain a key site for interdisciplinary and global conversation, collaboration, mentoring and political action on work and family issues and policies.  Given the results of the current election, a political and policy agenda that addresses inequalities in work and family issues has become all the more pressing.


Melissa Milkie

Melissa Milkie, Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Graduate Department, University of Toronto

  • Professional background and interests:
    Dr. Milkie is Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto and Chair of the Graduate Department. Her research focuses on gender, culture, work-family intersections, and health. She examines stressors such as parenting strains and work-family conflicts, including that of one’s spouse or partner, and how these link to health and well-being. A related strand of work focuses on the meanings and experiences of family and family time, and how these have changed in sometimes dramatic ways. Recent research projects center on gender, work, and parenting, with studies on how feelings about time spent with children are linked to mothers’ versus fathers’ mental health, on how women’s and men’s assessments of their partner’s work-family conflicts matter for well-being, and on the “distracted” family dinner. Professor Milkie has been Deputy Editor at American Sociological Review and Gender & Society and served as ADVANCE Professor of Inclusive Excellence at the University of Maryland. She was part of the Program Committee for the Inaugural WFRN Conference.

  • Platform:
    If elected, I would work with the WFRN executive team to promote two key issues. First, I have a great deal of experience and strong interest in fostering and strengthening mentoring programs for junior faculty, postdocs and graduate students across disciplines, particularly those from underrepresented groups. Second, I will work to promote outreach to research, non-profit, policy, and community organizations in the U.S. and internationally, with a focus on how work-family researchers can link with key organizations. In recent years, I have connected with groups such as A Better Balance, Mom’s Rising, and MIRCI (Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement) in the U.S. and Canada, and have seen up close the importance of key ties across groups to further policy and practices that benefit work-family life. In all I would be honored to deepen the mentoring and outreach work of this organization and to energetically promote WFRN ideals of supporting researchers across the globe whose research can foster healthy workplaces and work-life fit in a fast-changing world.  


  • Go to the WFRN Membership Directory for more information about the candidates. You will need to be logged in to view the Directory.

  • Voting will be held from January 23 through February 3, 2017 (midnight EST).  Members will receive a ballot by email on January 23.  If you paid your 2017 membership dues but did not receive a ballot, please contact workandfamily@sas.upenn.edu.