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.

November 21, 2014


IRAN: DEAL OR NO DEAL? As the November 24th deadline looms for reaching a deal between Iran and the P-5+ Germany on Iran’s nuclear program, host Carol Castiel talks with Emanuele Ottolenghi, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Alex Vatanka, Senior Fellow at The Middle East Institute, who spar over what’s at stake in the negotiations, US and Iranian domestic politics and the implications of the potential outcomes: success, failure or an extension of the talks.

November 15, 2014


OBAMA IN ASIA Patrick Cronin, Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, discuss with host Carol Castiel the outcomes and implications of President Obama’s trip to Asia, including the APEC and ASEAN summits as well as his State visit to China and meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

November 07, 2014


U.S. MIDTERM ELECTION ANALYSIS John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project at The Bi-Partisan Policy Center and Stuart Rothenberg, Editor and Publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report, discuss the significance and implications of the 2014 U.S. midterm elections in which the opposition Republican Party has wrested control of the Senate from the Democrats and what it all means for the Obama administration moving forward, with host Carol Castiel.

October 31, 2014


EBOLA UPDATE J. Peter Pham, Director of the Africa Center at The Atlantic Council and Kristi Rogers, Managing Director and CEO of Aspen Health Care Services, discuss with host Carol Castiel the status and impact of international and local efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone as well as the political, social, and economic toll the virus has taken on these countries.

October 24, 2014


YEMEN CRISIS While the fight against ISIL has grabbed international headlines, Yemen, home to the most deadly al Qaida affiliate, AQAP, is in turmoil due to recent aggression by the Houthi Movement, a Zaydi Shia rebel militia, which has overrun the capital Sana’a and threatens the integrity and stability of the state. Danya Greenfield of The Atlantic Council and Graeme Bannerman, non-resident expert at the Middle East Institute, discuss what’s at stake in Yemen, with host Carol Castiel.

October 17, 2014


TURKEY, KURDS & ISIL Denise Natali, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University and Kadir Ustun, Research Director at The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), demystify the controversy surrounding Turkey’s role in the US-led coalition to fight ISIL with host Carol Castiel.

October 10, 2014


HONG KONG PROTESTS David M. Lampton, Professor and Director of China Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies and author of “Following the Leader: Ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping” and Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation discuss with host Carol Castiel the significance and broader implications of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and what’s at stake for Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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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

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)