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 01, 2016

    NATO SUMMIT PREVIEW / Derek Chollet, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, now counselor and senior advisor for security and defense policy at The German Marshall Fund of the United States, and Jeffrey Rathke, senior fellow and deputy director of the Europe Program at The Center for Strategic and International Studies, preview with host Carol Castiel the upcoming NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland and examine how Great Britain’s recent vote to leave the European Union might affect the NATO alliance.

    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?

    April 15, 2016


    PANAMA PAPERS Host Carol Castiel talks with guests Porter McConnell, Director of the Financial Transparency Coalition and Will Fitzgibbon, a reporter at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists about the ramifications of the “Panama Papers,” a trove of leaked documents which contain details of thousands of opaque offshore companies, trusts and foundations connected to leaders from around the world who wish to avoid taxes, hide corruption, or avoid sanctions.

    April 08, 2016


    CRISIS IN BRAZIL Paulo Sotero, Director of the Brazil Institute at the Wilson Center, and Eric Farnsworth, Vice President of the Americas Society and Council of the Americas, discuss with host Carol Castiel the significance and broad implications of the political and economic crisis engulfing Brazil as a corruption scandal threatens the rule of President Dilma Rousseff in the run-up to the Olympic Games.

    April 01, 2016


    EU AFTER BRUSSELS Benjamin Haddad, Research Fellow in European and Transatlantic Affairs at the Hudson Institute and Leo Michel, Senior Fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council, discuss the fallout from the Brussels terror attacks with host Carol Castiel and whether or not the tragedy will spark a unified push to improve intelligence sharing and security among member states.

    March 25, 2016


    OBAMA IN CUBA Ian Vásquez, Director of the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute and William LeoGrande, Professor of Government at American University and author of “Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana,” discuss with host Carol Castiel the significance and implications of President Barack Obama’s historic trip to Cuba. Listen for it on Encounter this Saturday and Sunday on the Voice of America!

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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)