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 31, 2015

Host Rick Pantaleo talks to Elliot Zweig, Deputy Director of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), and David Hudson, a First Amendment expert and law professor at the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center about how to strike a balance between net neutrality and freedom of speech and to not become the distribution channel for terrorists dangerous propaganda postings.

June 05, 2015


CLIMATE CHANGE Adrianna Quintero, Founder & Executive Director of Voces Verdes, and James M. Taylor, Senior Fellow for Environment and Energy Policy at The Heartland Institute spar over myths and facts behind the climate change with host Rick Pantaleo.

May 31, 2015


ROHINGYA MIGRANTS Host Carol Castiel talks with Priscilla Clapp, retired Minister-Counselor in the US Foreign Service and Senior Advisor to the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Asia Society, and John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch about the many factors, including discrimination and persecution at the hands of Myanmar, that have led the Rohingya to risk their lives at sea fleeing to other countries, and what the region and international community must do to address the problem.

May 22, 2015


ISIL - IRAQ - SYRIA Nussaibah Younis, Senior Research Associate at the Project on Middle East Democracy, and Christopher Blanchard, Middle East Policy Analyst at the Congressional Research Service discuss with host Carol Castiel the significance and implications of the fall of Ramadi in Iraq to Islamic State militants as well as their capture of the Syrian town of Palmyra.

May 15, 2015


US-GULF SUMMIT Graeme Bannerman, former Middle East analyst at the State Department Policy Planning Bureau, and Alex Vatanka, Senior Scholar at the Middle East Institute, discuss with host Carol Castiel US-Gulf state relations after a high-level summit designed to allay their concerns about a prospective nuclear accord the US is negotiating with their nemesis, Iran.

May 09, 2015


REBUILDING BALTIMORE Sam Fulwood III, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, and Andrew Ferguson, Associate Professor of Law at the University of The District of Columbia, discuss the local and nationwide implications for police reform as a result of the Freddie Gray case--the young black man who died in police custody in Baltimore—as well as the multi-pronged approach needed to address the underlying causes of unemployment and poverty in Baltimore.

May 01, 2015


DRONES DEBATE The use of drones by the Obama administration has come under increased scrutiny in light of the recent accidental killing of two innocent hostages in Pakistan. Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, and Robert Worth, Public Policy Scholar at the Wilson Center, discuss the scope and the future of the drone program as the United States seeks to strike a balance between national security and civil liberty concerns.

April 24, 2015


US POLITICS John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Arkadi Gerney, Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress, talk with host Carol Castiel about the flurry of bipartisan activity in the US Congress and the race for the White House in 2016 as Hillary Clinton announces her candidacy for the Democratic nomination and many Republican contenders throw their hat into the ring.

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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)