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.

February 21, 2014



Barbara Slavin, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, and Jean-Francois Seznec, Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Business and an expert on the Arab gulf states, discuss the outcome of recent talks to curb Iran’s nuclear program and the significance and implications of the 3rd anniversary of the popular uprising in Bahrain with host Carol Castiel.

February 14, 2014



Charles Kupchan, senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations and Stephen Collinson, White House Correspondent for Agence France Press (AFP), discuss the significance and broader implications of the state visit by French President Francois Hollande to Washington with host Carol Castiel. Notwithstanding the historic “special relationship” between the United States and Britain, France is increasingly demonstrating that it is an indispensable partner for the United States on the world stage whether in the Middle East, in Africa or in the realm of international trade. 

February 07, 2014



Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center and Shuja Nawaz, Director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council, preview the issues and candidates dominating the upcoming April presidential elections in Afghanistan and discuss options for the United States in a post 2014 Afghanistan with host Carol Castiel.

January 31, 2014


Karlyn Bowman, Senior Fellow & Public Opinion Analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, and Igor Volsky, Managing Editor of at the Center for American Progress, debate the main themes of President Obama’s State of the Union address and his vow to use more executive orders in light of congressional gridlock. 

January 24, 2014



Gary Schmitt, Resident Scholar & Co-Director of the Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Ken Gude, Senior Fellow with the National Security Team at the Center for American Progress, debate the pros and cons of President Obama’s proposed reforms to the NSA’s controversial surveillance programs with host Carol Castiel.

January 17, 2014



Jeremy Shapiro, Visiting Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, and Jeffrey White, Senior Defense Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy spar over how to contain and ultimately settle the ongoing conflict in Syria. They both agree that expectations are low for the upcoming Geneva II peace conference and tell host Carol Castiel that just getting the parties to the table would be a step forward.

January 10, 2014



John Fortier, director of the Democracy Project at the Bi-Partisan Policy Center and David Wasserman, editor and political analyst at the Cook Political Report preview and analyze the 2014 US legislative agenda, US President Barack Obama’s policy priorities and what’s at stake in the 2014 midterm elections 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.