radio / Encounter

    Join host Carol Castiel each week as she and two advocates from the world of politics, culture, public policy, or academia debate and discuss a critical issue in the news.  This program brings depth, perspective, and insight to the world around us. Issues that affect our lives and global stability are debated and discussed in a free-wheeling, unscripted discussion of fact and opinion.

    Upcoming program

    Friday July 29, 2016

    Join host Carol Castiel each week as she and two advocates from the world of politics, public policy, or academia discuss and debate a critical issue in the news, bringing depth, perspective, and insight to the world around us. Issues that affect our lives and global stability are debated in a free-wheeling, unscripted discussion of fact and opinion.

    June 03, 2016


    AFRICA UPDATE Ambassador David Shinn, former US Ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso and J. Peter Pham, Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, discuss with host Carol Castiel the status of the South Sudan peace agreement, US-backed anti-terrorism exercises with African forces, Somalia’s upcoming elections and the significance of the guilty verdict for former Chadian President, Hissene Habre.

    May 27, 2016


    THE POLITICS OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE Both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates have attacked international trade and trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the US presidential primary campaign. As US President Barack Obama, a proponent of international trade deals, meets with counterparts in Southeast Asia like Vietnam, a signatory to the TPP, host Carol Castiel talks with Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, and Jim Kessler, Senior Vice President for Policy at Third Way, who spar over the pros and cons of international trade agreements and discuss to what extent they either hurt or help the US economy and American workers.

    May 20, 2016


    BRAZIL OLYMPICS CONTRA ZIKA Can the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro survive the Zika virus? Guest host Rick Pantaleo asks Professor Amir Attaran, author of recently published article in which the doctor expresses his concerns for a global spread of Zika during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The program also features public health and infectious disease experts Dr. Judy Stone and Dr. Celine Gounder. Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Americas Society and Council of the Americas provides insight into political, social and economic concerns that also surround the games.

    May 13, 2016


    TURKEY POLITICAL CRISIS Soner Cagaptay, Director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Aaron Stein, Senior Fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at The Atlantic Council, discuss with host Carol Castiel the implications of the political crisis in Turkey given the growing authoritarianism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who recently ousted his loyal prime minister.

    May 06, 2016


    IRAQ / ISIL Nussaibah Younis, Resident Senior Fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at The Atlantic Council, and Graeme Bannerman, the founder of Bannerman Associates, an international consulting firm and a former scholar at the Middle East Institute, discuss with host Carol Castiel the challenges facing the Iraqi government in light of recent protests led by the powerful Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and to what extent this setback complicates the fight against the so-called Islamic State, which still holds considerable swathes of Iraqi territory.

    April 29, 2016

    Encounter: OBAMA GULF- EU TRIP

    Hussein Ibish, Senior Scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington and former Senior Fellow at the American Taskforce on Palestine, and Perry Cammack, Associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, join host Carol Castiel to discuss the fallout and the implications of US President Barack Obama’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia and Europe.

    April 22, 2016


    UPDATE ON 2016 RACE John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center and Igor Volsky, Deputy Director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund discuss with host Carol Castiel the significance of the results of the New York State primaries for the Democrats and the Republicans as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump gain momentum at a crucial juncture in their respective campaigns. What can we expect during the coming months in the race to the White House?

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    Carol Castiel is also the host of  Press Conference USA and co-produces Issues in the News with Ania Zalewski at the Voice of America.
    Broadcast Schedule
    Encounter is broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays. You can also listen to us via affiliate stations in your area. Check your local radio station guide for more information.
    • Saturdays: 0330 0930 1430 1800 and 2330 UTC
    • Sundays:   0530  1230 1730 1930 UTC
    This Week's Featured Video: Host Carol Castiel talks to Georgetown University Professors Ambassador Mark Lagon and  Professor Tony Arend about the US foreign policy priorities for 2014.    (January 5, 2014)

    Carol Castiel


    Meet Our Host
    As Director of Current Affairs Programming in VOA's English Division, Carol Castiel is responsible for producing Press Conference USA, Encounter, and Issues in the News.  Carol moderates and produces Press Conference USA and Encounter. She also oversees the production of Issues in the News, VOA’s roundup of the week’s top stories by distinguished Washington journalists.

    Before joining the Voice of America, Carol was a consultant/freelance journalist specializing in the promotion of trade and investment between the United States and Africa. She was also a contributing editor to the London-based West Africa Magazine. Carol is fluent in Portuguese, French, and Spanish. She holds an M.A. degree in International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.


    Other Current Affairs Programs:

    Issues in the news -Prominent Washington correspondents discuss topics making headlines around the world.

    Press conference Host Carol Castiel and other panelists interview bestselling authors, analysts, politicians, U.S. government officials, ambassadors and foreign heads of state about critical issues facing the U.S. and the world.

    Watch Our Video

    Anthony Clark Arend, Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and George Little, former assistant to the US Secretary of Defense, currently a Partner in the Brunswick Group discuss U.S. foreign policy priorities for 2016.  (December 23, 2015)