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 May 06, 2016

    Join host Carol Castiel each week as she and two advocates from the world of politics, public policy, or academia discuss and debate a critical issue in the news, bringing depth, perspective, and insight to the world around us. Issues that affect our lives and global stability are debated in a free-wheeling, unscripted discussion of fact and opinion.

    December 04, 2015


    AFRICA UPDATE Ambassador David Shinn, former US Ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, now professor at George Washington University and J.Peter Pham, Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, discuss with host Carol Castiel the significance and impact of the Pope’s recent visit to Africa, the Paris Climate Change Conference, elections results in Burkina Faso and the continuing threat of violent extremism in Mali and Nigeria.

    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.

    November 20, 2015


    PARIS TERROR IMPLICATIONS Benjamin Haddad, a research fellow at Hudson Institute specializing in European and transatlantic affairs, and Jessica Ashooh, Deputy Director of the Middle East Strategy Task Force, at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council, discuss the implications of the terror attacks in Paris and how the world is responding.

    November 13, 2015


    PUTIN'S RUSSIA Anders Aslund, one of the world's most renowned experts on Ukrainian and Russian political economy, Senior Fellow at The Atlantic Council, and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, and Jeffrey Mankoff, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow for the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discuss with host Carol Castiel the ramifications of Russia’s intervention in Syria and Ukraine as well as the fallout from the destruction of a Russian jet departing Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, killing all 224 people on board.

    November 06, 2015


    TURKEY’S DO OVER ELECTION In a stunning reversal of fortunes, Turkey’s Justice and Development Party or AKP won a decisive victory in the nation’s recent “do-over” elections, after having lost its parliamentary majority in June. Kadir Ustun, Executive Director of The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) in Washington and Blaise Misztal, Director, National Security Program at the Bipartisan Policy Center, who just returned from Turkey, discuss the significance and ramifications of this outcome and its impact on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s stewardship of the NATO nation’s domestic, regional and foreign policy..

    October 30, 2015


    JERUSALEM VIOLENCE Natan Sachs, a Fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, and Ghaith al-Omari, Senior Fellow on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship at The Washington Institute For Near East Policy, discuss the roots of the outbreak of violence in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians and whether or not it is possible to revive talks about a two-state solution.

    October 23, 2015


    RUSSIA / IRAN / SYRIA Faysal Itani, Fellow in the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council, and Hussein Ibish, Senior Resident Scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, discuss with host Carol Castiel the implications of stepped up Iranian and Russian backing of Syrian President Bashar al Assad and how this affects the direction of the Syrian conflict, U.S. strategy, and the regional geopolitical landscape.

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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)