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.

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.

April 11, 2014


AFGHAN ELECTION Michael Kugelman, Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Wilson Center, and Ahmad Majidyar, Senior Research Associate at the American Enterprise Institute, discuss with host Carol Castiel the conduct and strong turnout in Afghanistan’s recent historic election, prospects for stability and economic development and  implications for Kabul’s future ties with its regional neighbors and the United States.

April 04, 2014


THE MIDDLE EAST TALKS Ghaith al-Omari, Executive Director of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), and Nathan Guttman, Washington Bureau Chief of The Jewish Daily Forward, discuss with host Carol Castiel US diplomatic efforts to break the current impasse in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and prospects for salvaging the two-state solution.

March 28, 2014


THE POLITICS OF PROMOTING DEMOCRACY David Kramer, President of Freedom House, and  Merdijana Sadovic, Regional Director for Western Balkans at the Institute of War and Peace Reporting, discuss the mechanics of democracy promotion and to what extent the US pro-democracy organizations support the protests across the world, with host Doug Bernard.

March 21, 2014


SYRIA CRISIS / US - RUSSIA TENSIONS The Geneva II Peace talks on Syria ended in stalemate. Washington has ordered Damascus to close its Embassy and consulates in the United States because of the regime’s brutality against its own citizens. The moderate rebel opposition is fighting a two front war against Assad and al Qaida-linked extremists.  And Moscow may be even less likely to pressure its erstwhile ally, Syrian President Bashar al Assad, to make concessions given tensions between Russia and the US over the crisis in Ukraine. So what to do about the devastating humanitarian, economic and strategic consequences of the civil war in Syria?  Andrew Tabler, Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Valerie Szybala, Research Analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, review the trajectory of the conflict and discuss possible next steps in bringing the carnage to an end with host Carol Castiel.

March 14, 2014


US POLITICS UPDATE 2014 Igor Volsky, Managing Editor of, and John Fortier, Political Scientist and Director of the Democracy Project at the Bi-Partisan Policy Center, discuss the current projects of the United States Congress and President Barrack Obama with host Carol Castiel. 

Page doesn't contain any article. Link to latest data by clicking here.

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 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.