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 29, 2016

    DNC ANALYSIS / John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center and Allan Lichtman, Distinguished professor of History at American University in Washington, discuss with host Carol Castiel the race for the White House and analyze the tone and results of the Democratic National Convention where former First Lady and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was formally elected as the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, the first woman ever to be nominated by a major US political party.

    February 26, 2016


    APPLE VS. FBI Morgan Wright, Owner of Morgan Wright LLC cybersecurity consulting firm and former Senior Advisor to the U.S. Department of State Antiterrorism Assistance Program, and B. Clifford Neuman, Director of the USC Center for Computer System Security, discuss with guest host Rick Pantaleo the case of Apple vs. FBI in the Central District Court of California. The war between the tech giant and the federal government has waged an ideological divide between fighting terrorism and protecting the privacy of America’s citizens.

    February 19, 2016


    SYRIA CONUNDRUM Ambassador James Jeffrey, distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and former US ambassador to Iraq and Turkey, and Aaron Stein, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, discuss the state of play between Turkey, Russia, the United States, and other actors in the Syrian conflict with host Carol Castiel.

    February 12, 2016


    AFTER NEW HAMPSHIRE John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center and Igor Volsky, Deputy Director at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, assess the outcome of the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primary in the run-up to the presidential election in the United States with host Carol Castiel.

    February 05, 2016


    EU ON THE BRINK OF BREAK-UP? The refugee crisis is overwhelming Europe and threatening the viability of the Schengen or open borders policy, a cornerstone of the European Union. The fear of terrorism is fueling the rise of right-wing political parties. On this edition of Encounter, host Carol Castiel revisits these issues and the prospects of the UK exiting the EU with Alina Polyakova, Associate Director of the Eurasia Center at The Atlantic Council, and Ivan Vejvoda, Senior Vice President of Programs at The German Marshall Fund of the United States.

    January 29, 2016


    BEHIND PAKISTANI EXTREMISM In light of the recent terror attack that killed 20 at Bacha Khan University, Lisa Curtis, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center and Michael Kugelman, Senior Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, tackle the causes and consequences of Pakistan’s persistent extremism with host Carol Castiel.

    January 22, 2016


    THE STATE OF ISIS In the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Turkey and Indonesia in which the so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility, Nussaibah Younis, Resident Senior Fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at Atlantic Council and Harleen Gambhir, Counterterrorism Analyst specializing in ISIS at the Institute for the Study of War, discuss with host Carol Castiel the gains and setbacks in the global battle to contain ISIS, including the fallout from the Iran nuclear deal.

    January 15, 2016


    IRAN - SAUDI RIFT New York Times Middle East correspondent and author, Robert Worth, and Hussein Ibish, Senior Resident Scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, discuss with host Carol Castiel the reasons behind and implications of the growing power and sectarian struggle between two regional powerhouses Iran and Saudi Arabia.

    On the go? Subscribe to a Podcast of the show
    We Want To Hear From You

    Please contact us via email, letter, Facebook or Twitter! Follow the links below and tell us what you think of guests, our recent shows and who you would like us to interview in the future.
    Postal Mail:
    Voice of America - PCUSA
    Washington, D.C. 20237 USA

    And follow our host Carol Castiel on Twitter:

    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)