Liana Sayer Named Next Editor of NCFR’s Journal of Marriage and Family

Liana C. Sayer, Ph.D.

SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA — The National Council on Family Relations’ (NCFR) is delighted to announce that Liana C. Sayer, Ph.D., has been named the new editor of Journal of Marriage and Family (JMF), one of NCFR’s three family-research journals. She will begin her four-year term as editor of the peer-reviewed journal — the leading research journal in the family field for more than 75 years — with the publication of its February 2021 issue. Dr. Sayer will succeed current JMF Editor Kristi Williams, Ph.D., of Ohio State University.

Dr. Sayer is the director of the Maryland Time Use Laboratory and professor of sociology at the University of Maryland (UMD), where she will also conclude a term as the director of graduate studies in sociology this academic year. She earned her doctorate in sociology and a certificate in women’s studies from UMD. She formerly held a faculty appointment in sociology at Ohio State University.

Dr. Sayer has served as secretary/treasurer for the Population Association of America, and secretary/treasurer and council member for the Family Section of the American Sociology Association. She is currently the vice president of the International Association of Time Use Research and chaired a subcommittee to develop recommendations for selecting a new editor for the Journal of Time Use Research (JTUR), and for editorial processes and plans for the journal’s direction.

Dr. Sayer’s editorial work includes membership on the board of JTUR and Contexts and being a reviewer for over a dozen professional journals. As principal investigator for a federal grant on family health and time use across the life course, she organized a conference and managed a complex process that included proposal review, communication with authors, and providing constructive feedback in decision letters. 

The editor search committee was highly impressed with Dr. Sayer’s scholarly expertise in the broad areas of gender, family, time use, and social stratification. Her research is primarily quantitative and uses methods regularly featured in JMF.

Dr. Sayer is a regular contributor and reviewer for JMF and has a strong record of publication in high quality family-focused journals. She has received prestigious awards for her scholarship including NCFR’s Reuben Hill Award in 2001, awarded to the author(s) of an outstanding article or book that combines theory and methodology to analyze and interpret a significant family issue.

“Dr. Sayer’s prolific research has had a tremendous impact nationally and internationally [and] her work stands above others at her career stage,” wrote Melissa Milkie, Ph.D., in her letter of recommendation. “I envision that her leadership will prove to be exceptionally responsible and creative – and that [JMF’s] impact will continue to be vast.”


The National Council on Family Relations is the premier professional association for understanding and strengthening families through interdisciplinary research, theory, and practice. NCFR has a membership of nearly 3,000 family researchers, educators, practitioners, and students. For more information on the National Council on Family Relations or its scholarly publications, including the Journal of Marriage and Family, visit the NCFR website at