NFL’s first female official to headline Women Lead Change QC Conference

Local News

Down judge Sarah Thomas (53) during the second half of the NFL’s Super Bowl 55 football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

NFL official Sarah Thomas will headline the 2021 Women Lead Change Quad Cities Conference on October 13 at the Waterfront Convention Center.

Thomas served as the down judge at this year’s Super Bowl.

“We are thrilled to bring Sarah Thomas in for our Quad Cities Conference,” CEO of Women Lead Change Tiffany O’Donnell said. “She has changed the paradigm for women everywhere. Once again, sport proves to be a great equalizer!”

Thomas is the NFL’s first female official and one of Sports Illustrated’s 100 Most Influential NFL Figures of All Time.

Officiating her first game September 13, 2015, between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, Sarah’s hat, whistle, and flag are now on display at the NFL Hall of Fame.

She was the first female official to ever work a major college football game, to officiate a bowl game and to officiate in a Big Ten stadium.

The conference will also feature Dr. Michelle Harper and Erica Dhawan.

Registration is open at

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