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 September 11, 2015

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.

April 10, 2015


IRAN DEAL Alex Vatanka, Scholar at the Middle East Institute, and Matthew McInnis, Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, spar over the pros and cons of the recently negotiated nuclear framework deal with Iran and talk with host Carol Castiel about the political and technical challenges ahead, including demands by members of Congress and objections raised by Israel and Sunni Gulf states, and internal Iranian politics that might yet scuttle a comprehensive final deal.

April 03, 2015


YEMEN/SAUDI/ IRAN Host Carol Castiel speaks with Ambassador Barbara Bodine, Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University and a former US ambassador to Yemen, and Graeme Bannerman, founder of Bannerman Associates, and specialist on the Gulf at the Middle East Institute, about how Saudi-led air strikes against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have transformed a political crisis rooted in local grievances, into a proxy conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

March 27, 2015


US - AFGHAN RELATIONS Michael Kugelman, Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia, at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and Sadanand Dhume, Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute discuss the significance and outcome of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s first official visit to Washington and prospects for political and economic stability in that war-torn country, with host Carol Castiel.

March 20, 2015


US CONGRESS / FOREIGN POLICY In the wake of several actions that the Republican-led US Congress has taken either without informing or in defiance of the Democratic White House, P.J. Crowley, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, now a fellow at George Washington University and Steven Groves, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation spar over the role of Congress in the formulation and execution of US foreign policy.

March 13, 2015


BOKO HARAM – ISIS Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and Michael O’Hanlon, Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Brooking’s Institution, discuss the significance and ramifications of the Nigerian-based terrorist group Boko Haram’s recent declaration of allegiance to the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, with host Carol Castiel.

March 06, 2015


PM NETANYHU / US CONGRESS Natan Sachs, Senior Fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution, and James Phillips, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the conservative Heritage Foundation, discuss the politics and substance of a controversial speech on Iran to the US Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, just two weeks before Israeli elections and three weeks before the deadline to conclude a high stakes deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

February 27, 2015


CYBERSECURITY Frank J. Cilluffo, Associate Vice President & Director of Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at the GWU, and Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, former Senior Council at the Computer & Intellectual Property Section at the US Department of Justice discuss the growing global cyber threats and what is being done to stop these computer-based offenses, with guest host Rick Pantaleo.

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

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)