radio / Encounter

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.

May 30, 2014


NIGERIA  - BOKO HARAM J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and Lauren Ploch Blanchard, Africa analyst at the Congressional Research Service, an arm of the Library of Congress, talk with host Carol Castiel about Nigeria’s struggle to combat the homegrown terrorist group Boko Haram in the wake of the spectacular abduction in April of more than 250 schoolgirls, which shocked the world and prompted countries from the United States to China to offer military and technical support to the Nigerian government.

May 23, 2014


INDIAN ELECTION RESULTS 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 Wilson Center, discuss the domestic and regional implications of the landslide victory of Narendra Modi in India’s general election with host Carol Castiel.  

May 16, 2014


DEATH PENALTY DEBATE IN AMERICA A botched execution in the U.S. State of Oklahoma has sparked renewed debate over the death penalty in the United States.  Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and Jon Malcolm, Director, and Senior Legal fellow in the Edwin Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation spar over the methods and merits of the death penalty with host Carol Castiel. 

May 09, 2014


SEC. KERRY IN AFRICA / SUDAN, NIGERIA CRISES Host Carol Castiel talks with Ambassador David Shinn, Professor of International Affairs at The George Washington University and former ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, and Richard Downie, Deputy Director and Fellow with the CSIS Africa Program, about US Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent visit to Africa, the plight of Nigeria’s missing girls and prospects for resolving the civil war in South Sudan.

May 02, 2014


IRAQ ELECTION ANALYSIS Host Carol Castiel talks with Sarhang Hamasaeed, senior program officer for the Middle-East and North Africa Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace and Ahmed Ali, Iraq Research Analyst and Iraq Team Lead at Institute for the Study of War, about the conduct of the Iraq elections, prospects for an alternative to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and how Iraq can tackle the growing insurgency in Anbar province and create a more stable, unified Iraq. 

April 25, 2014


UKRAINE CRISIS As Washington sends hundreds of paratroopers to Poland and three Baltic states in response to ongoing tensions in Ukraine, host Carol Castiel speaks with Ariel Cohen, Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy at the Heritage Foundation and William Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center, about the future of Ukraine and the geopolitical implications of the growing rift between Russia and the United States.

April 18, 2014


SOUTH SUDAN / C.A.R. CRISES Jon Temin, Director of Africa Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace and J. Peter Pham, Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, discuss the roots and ramifications of the political and humanitarian crises in South Sudan and the Central African Republic with host Carol Castiel.

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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 best-selling authors, analysts, politicians, US government officials, ambassadors and foreign heads of state about critical issues facing the US and the world.

Watch Our 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)
Middle East Voices Middle East Voices– a VOA-powered social journalism platform seeking to combine investigative journalism, crowdsourcing, participatory writing and social media technology to redefine how stories in and about the Middle East are told.