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Philip Riley Mead is the President of the United States in Deus Ex. Mead is seen only in the intro sequence of the game, sitting in a UNATCO meeting alongside his wife Rachel, but is frequently mentioned in in-game text content. In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, set chronologically prior to Deus Ex, Mead is a rising politician and the Governor of the state of Florida.


""I cannot believe one scientist's death has put an end to such an important debate. It seems a little convenient that the attack happened right before Dr. Reed was set to present her research."
— Governor Mead urging the Congress to reconvene hearings.

As a young college student, Mead caught the attention of the Illuminati. In particular, he shared a special relationship with the Illuminatus Beth DuClare, who helped groom his political career.[1] In 2027, he was an outspoken Governor of the state of Florida, making headlines when he urged Congress to resume hearings on human augmentation and their legal ramifications, after they were suspended following Doctor Megan Reed's presumed death, putting pressure on the Speaker of the House, Skip Riley.[2]

His public visage as a man of the people obscured the fact that he was an opportunist politician who worked the angles on Capitol Hill using every trick he could.[3] By the early 2050s, Mead had become the President of the United States.

Endorsement of UNATCO[]

Mead took opportunity after the 2051 terrorist attack on the Statue of Liberty to lobby Congress to make the United States a charter member of UNATCO. In his landmark State of the Union address, he declared that terrorist threats will not be tolerated. He also decided that the Statue will not be rebuilt but will instead serve as a reminder that "terrorism must be eradicated if we are to be free."[4][5] As a result of Mead's actions, UNATCO gained the full support of the United States and established its headquarters on Liberty Island.[4]

In 2052, Mead defied Congress by unilaterally paying the country's late dues to the United Nations. He was criticized by leaders of both Democrat and Republican parties. One senator wondered where he got the cash, suggesting that the payment was from a budget item not yet approved by Congress. Another senator accused him of betraying America, stating that "Congress approved UNATCO presence in the US but did not write a blank check, as he said."[6] Under criticism for paying the United Nations at a time of economic crisis, Mead's approval rating dropped to 35%.[7]

Views of Mead's endorsement of UNATCO are divided. Some see it as a guarantee of peace and security, while others are wary of darker motives at work.

NEW YORK -- President Philip Riley Mead's executive order repaying the United States debt to the United Nations is viewed by many as a positive step towards global peace -- but others sense darker motives at work. Some sources have privately commented that the order is nothing more than a tacit endorsement of a new world government and its private military, the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO).

Few can forget Mead's impassioned declaration that the shattered Statue of Liberty would not be repaired but instead stand as a reminder that "terrorism must be eradicated if we are to be free." It was shortly thereafter that Liberty Island was selected as the location of UNATCO headquarters, their dubious charter highlighted by the mysterious and still largely unexplained circumstances behind the Statue bombing.

No doubt President Mead's words will be remembered, even as he sells out his country to the foreign powers that have sought to destroy it for nearly three centuries.

— U.S. Prez Sells Out, Joe Greene (Midnight Sun)

Declaring martial law[]

Mead's actions enabled Bob Page's Majestic 12, the power behind UNATCO, to consolate power. Page also unleashed upon the world the Gray Death virus, a means to induce social unrest as well as to manipulate top government officials through controlled distribution of the Ambrosia vaccine.

Under Mead's administration, the Gray Death was allowed to spread throughout the lower classes, while the wealthy and influential seemingly remained unscathed by the epidemic. Those wealthy few who do somehow contract the "Gray Death" are quickly administered with a small dosage of the Ambrosia vaccine, specifically designed to prevent the spread of the virus amongst Bob Page's chosen social elite. Government policies regarding the production of said vaccine have been the target of public scrutiny due to the unfair method of distribution. The first to receive the vaccine are important political and corporate leaders, followed by wealthy individuals such as doctors, lawyers, and celebrities. Finally, Page's enforcers, witting and unwitting alike, are administered with the vaccine on a monthly basis. This includes UNATCO operatives, Majestic 12 troopers, law-enforcement officers, and US Military personnel.

Later in 2052, the White House is the site of an unsuccessful terrorist attack.[8][9] It is unknown whether it was conducted by NSF, MJ12, or a completely unrelated organization. In the face of the Gray Death pandemic and public unrest thorough the country, Mead places the entire country under martial law. In implementing martial law, Mead appoints FEMA director Walton Simons to spearhead an interim council tasked with managing the government response.[10] FEMA possesses the power to detain up to six million Americans, including the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court under the pretense of a national emergency.[11][12][13] Thus, the imposition of martial law further placed power in the hands of Bob Page and Majestic 12, which controls FEMA as one of its puppet organizations.

Development history[]

During the development of Deus Ex, Mead was originally planned to play a more direct role in the game's missions. However, the missions that featured Mead were all cut from the final game. Many backstory concepts for Mead that tied in with the cut missions were also cut. These story concepts included a plotline in which Mead was imprisoned by Majestic 12 and replaced by a clone, as well as additional family members, including a daughter named Sarah. Sarah Mead's unique character model was included in the final game, but her character was cut and the character model was repurposed to depict other characters.

Mount Weather[]

In the Shooter: Majestic Revelations precursor concept, Mead was intended to be portrayed as "an intelligent man, a good, compassionate person, but not an inspirational leader...Though not perfect, Mead is the kind of guy you want in power." Mead was also planned to be augmented with a special secure data-storage module that contains a portion of the code-key that unlocks the nuclear launch mechanism.[14]

Mead himself was to be featured in a mission taking place at Mount Weather, a presidential bunker for housing government officials during a national crisis. In the plotline of Majestic Revelations, the United States is placed under martial law due to a crisis engineered by Majestic 12. Mead, along with his cabinet and family (including his wife Rachel Mead, his daughter Sarah Mead, and his son Philip Riley Mead II), has relocated to Mt. Weather but Majestic 12 plans to assassinate Mead by cutting off the bunker's oxygen supply. After the assassination plot is thwarted, Mead, puts JC Denton in charge of bringing down Majestic 12.[15] Alternatively, if Mead dies in the bunker, his role in the game would be then filled by the vice president.[14]

Mount Weather was later cut during the course of the game's development.

Original backstory[]

Deus Ex design document v.13.12 reveals that sometime after the game was renamed from Majestic Revelations to Deus Ex,[16] Mead was given an expanded backstory. The backstory, as detailed in design document v.13.12, includes many descriptions of Mead that previously appeared in design document v.6.4, but also includes details of his college years and how he became controlled by the Illuminati and Majestic 12.

According to the backstory, Majestic 12 planned to eventually make Mead the U.S. president when Mead was still a newborn. Majestic 12 also made clones of Mead to serve as backup and murdered Mead's parents to ensure that they would not spill any information. While in college at Yale University, Mead was mentored by Illuminati/Majestic 12 leaders Dr. McTavish, a professor, and his wife, Beth DuClare (who, at the time of the backstory concept, is described as an expatriate French businesswoman). After becoming president, Mead rebelled against Majestic 12 but was unsuccessfully in doing so. Majestic 12 imprisoned him and threatened to replace him with one of the clones.

...the real Philip Riley Mead decided he was powerful enough to rebel against his Majestic 12 handlers and oppose their plan for world domination. He was wrong. They imprisoned him, threatened his wife and children, threatened to activate one of the clones they had created years before, and made immediate plans to remove the secure data-storage module that contains a portion of the code-key that unlocks the nuclear launch mechanism. The new clone president would need that.

And if this Mead clone isn’t up to the job, or rebels like the original, there are others just waiting to step in and do the job.

— Deus Ex design document v.13.12 (excerpt of Mead's backstory)

Design document v.13.12 also mentions that Mead's backstory is somewhat similar to that of JC Denton in that both Mead and JC were developed from childhood under the careful control of Majestic 12.

White House mission[]

During the game's development, a White House mission was created. Reportedly, by the time of the mission, Mead had been replaced by a clone and the player was tasked with rescuing Mead's daughter.[17] The White House mission was later cut from the game.

Most of Mead's original backstory was also cut from the game. Furthermore, the Deus Ex Bible, which includes many backstory concepts that appeared in design documents but not in the final game, does not explicitly include Mead's backstory of being cloned by Majestic 12 and unsuccessfully rebelling against Majestic 12. The only major remnant of the backstory that is explicitly endorsed in the Deus Ex Bible as part of the game's story is a short description that "Beth DuClare...was involved in preparing college student Philip Riley Mead for the Presidency."


See also[]


  1. Deus Ex Bible
  2. "Congress Under Pressure to Reconvene Hearings" (The Picus Daily Standard (DXHR))
  3. Deus Ex: Icarus Effect
  4. 4.0 4.1 UNATCO Handbook, "UNATCO and the World"
  5. Midnight Sun, "U.S. Prez Sells Out"
  6. "Mead Bucks Congress" (APR)
  7. "A Lesson for Our President" (Family News Network)
  8. O: Oooo, yes, we could find the terrorists that attacked the White House. They could terrorize me, and you could help.
  9. Toby Atanwe: "Your President Mead survived the coup attempt, but he won't survive a national epidemic of the plague."
  11. Deus Ex backstory
  12. Simons' conservation with an NSF prisoner: "in the case of a national emergency FEMA has a list of six million Americans who will be transported to detention centers"
  13. Midnight Sun, "FEMA to detail six million Americans" (article in the GOTY Edition)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Shooter: Majestic Revelations design document v6.4
  15. Shooter: Majestic Revelations design document v.5.3e
  16. The backstory described in design document v.13.12 mentions Beth DuClare, who did not exist in the Majestic Revelations concept.
  17. Jeremy Peel, "Deus Ex at 20: The oral history of a pivotal PC game". Rock Paper Shotgun. 22 June 2020.