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 October 09, 2015

AFGHANISTAN UPDATE Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, and Michael Kugelman, Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, discuss the implications and significance of the Taliban’s temporary seizure of Kunduz, the consequences of the controversial attack on a hospital and prospects for long-term security and stability in Afghanistan as the Obama administration contemplates leaving US troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016.

October 02, 2015


US POLITICS John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Igor Volsky, Contributing Editor of, a progressive political blog affiliated with the Center for American Progress, discuss the implications and significance of John Boehner’s resignation, the future of his post, and the latest from the presidential campaign.

September 25, 2015


IMPACT OF POPE FRANCIS VISIT TO US Anthony Arend, Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and Maryann Cusimano Love, Associate Professor of International Relations at The Catholic University of America, discuss the implications and significance of the historic visit to the U.S by Pope Francis with host Carol Castiel.

September 18, 2015


CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING STATE VISIT David M. Lampton, Professor and Director of China Studies at John’s Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Patrick Cronin, Senior Advisor and Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, preview Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming state visit to the United States and its significance and implications for US-China relations.

September 11, 2015


ROOTS OF MIGRANT CRISIS Rafif Jouejati, Director of Free Syria, and Spokeswoman for the Local Coordinating Committees in Syria and Demetrios Papademetriou, President Emeritus of the Migration Policy Institute, discuss the extent to which the Syrian war and violence in Iraq, among other unresolved conflicts, are driving the refugee crisis currently overwhelming Europe and what actions need to be taken by the international community to address the root causes of the refugee flow as well as the need for greater burden sharing in Europe, the United States and other parts of the world.

September 04, 2015


GUN VIOLENCE. Will a graphic shooting captured on live television and then posted on social media finally be a wake-up call for US legislators to pass gun control legislation? Host Carol Castiel discusses the tragic shooting in Roanoke and its implications with Harry Wilson, Professor of political science and Director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College and Arkadi Gerney, Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress.

August 28, 2015


POLITICS OF IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL. Barbara Slavin, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and Washington Correspondent for and Blaise Misztal, Director of the National Security program at the Bipartisan Policy Center, spar over the politics of the Iran deal as host Carol Castiel elicits their contrasting views about the upcoming vote in the US Congress.

August 21, 2015


POLITICS OF THE EU MIGRANT CRISIS. Ambassador Francois Rivasseau, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the United States, and Constanze Stelzenmüller, the Brookings Institution's Senior Fellow at the Center on the United States and Europe discuss the origins, politics and implications of the growing migrant crisis in Europe.


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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

Host Carol Castiel talks to Georgetown University Professors Ambassador Mark Lagon and Professor Tony Arend about U.S. foreign policy priorities for 2015.  (January 4, 2015)