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.

August 14, 2015


CAMPAIGN 2016 Igor Volsky, Managing Editor of at the Center for American Progress and Nathan Gonzales, Editor & Publisher of The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, talk with host Carol Castiel about the array of Democratic and Republican candidates seeking their party’s nomination for the White House, especially Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, two outsiders, who at least for now, have captured the attention of many Americans.

August 07, 2015


50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1965 VOTING RIGHTS ACT. Is the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act being slowly eroded? Are attempts by states to prevent voter fraud actually thinly veiled efforts to depress minority votes? Mark Lagon, President of Freedom House, Jon Greenbaum, Chief Counsel & Senior Deputy Director at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law, and Chris Simkins, VOA senior TV reporter, discuss with host Carol Castiel the significance of the 50th anniversary of the historic 1965 Voting Rights Act and the implications of the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that watered down some of the landmark legislation’s key provisions.

July 31, 2015


FREEDOM VS. SECURITY. 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.

July 24, 2015


LATIN AMERICA REVIEW. Eric Farnsworth, Vice President of the Council of the Americas and the Americas Society, and Harold Trinkunas, Director of the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution, discuss US-Cuba relations in light of historic embassy openings in both countries, implications of the prison escape of notorious drug lord El Chapo on US-Mexican relations, and how domestic political pressures on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff affect US – Brazilian ties.

July 17, 2015


LANDMARK NUCLEAR DEAL WITH IRAN. Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director of the Foundation for Defense for Democracies, and Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Arms Control Association, spar over the pros and cons of the recently concluded landmark nuclear deal with Iran and the hurdles that lie ahead as Congress reviews it and US allies from Israel to Saudi Arabia air their concerns about the deal as well as the geopolitical implications of sanctions relief for Iran.

July 10, 2015


GREECE / IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL. Is European unity in peril after Greeks overwhelmingly rejected the harsh bailout terms of the European Union? Host Carol Castiel talks with Daniel Serwer, Professor of Conflict Management at Johns Hopkins University, and Helle Dale, Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy at the Heritage Foundation, about the political fallout from the “no” vote in the Greek referendum as well as the implications of a possible “Grexit.”

July 03, 2015


SUPREME COURT RULINGS. Two senior political analysts discuss with host Carol Castiel how recent landmark Supreme Court rulings on the US healthcare law and Same-Sex marriage influence the legacy of President Barack Obama and the 2016 presidential elections.

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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)