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 November 27, 2015

CAMPAIGN 2016 UPDATE Igor Volsky, Director of Video and Contributing Editor of, a progressive political blog affiliated with the Center for American Progress, and John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, discuss the current climate of the 2016 Presidential campaign, the effects the Paris terror attacks has had on U.S politics, and the new Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.

June 26, 2015


US DETERS RUSSIA William Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and Jeffrey Mankoff, Deputy Director and fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Russia and Eurasia Program, discuss with host Carol Castiel the merits and drawbacks of US forward deployment plans in Europe to deter Russia’s aggressive moves in Ukraine and near the Baltic states.

June 19, 2015


TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP. Sarah Anderson, Director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and Bryan Riley, Senior Policy Analyst in Trade Policy at The Heritage Foundation, discuss with host Doug Bernard the pros and cons of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

June 12, 2015


TURKISH ELECTIONS Sinan Ciddi, Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgetown University and Director of the Institute for Turkish Studies, and Soner Cagaptay, Senior Fellow and Director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, discuss the many domestic and international ramifications of the outcome of Turkish elections, which dealt a blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AKP, which lost its majority in parliament.

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.

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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)