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.

September 05, 2014


OBAMA & THE WORLD-Philip J. Crowley, a fellow at the GWU’s Institute for Public Diplomacy & Global Communications, and Steven Bucci, Director of Douglas & Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy at the Heritage Foundation discuss President Obama’s handling of the US foreign policy at the time of emerging new threats and challenges, with host Doug Bernard.

August 29, 2014


AFGHAN ELECTION CRISIS Lisa Curtis, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center and Ambassador Omar Samad, former Afghan Ambassador to France and Canada, currently senior Central Asia Fellow at the New American Foundation, discuss the roots and implications of the election crisis in Afghanistan where two candidates are locked in a standoff over the outcome of the June 2014 runoff with host Carol Castiel.

August 22, 2014


FERGUSON CASE A shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri has sparked a debate over the use of excessive force by local police and racial profiling in America. Sam Fulwood III, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Anthony E. Cook, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, discuss with host Carol Castiel the underlying political, economic and racial factors, which may have triggered the shooting and subsequent protests.

August 15, 2014


IRAQ CRISIS Edmund Ghareeb, Professor and Mustafa Barzani Scholar for Global Kurdish Studies at American University, and Faysal Itani, Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, discuss the impact of US military, political and humanitarian efforts to stop the advance of ISIL, and the prospects for Iraqi prime minister designate, Haider al-Abadi, to create a more inclusive government, considered a political pre-requisite for defeating ISIL.

August 08, 2014


US - AFRICA SUMMIT Ambassador Herman “Hank” Cohen, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and David Shinn, former ambassador to Ethiopia & Burkina Faso, discuss the significance and outcomes of the historic US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington with host Carol Castiel.

August 01, 2014


ISRAEL - HAMAS   On this edition of the program Natan Sachs, Fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution, and Said Arikat, Washington Correspondent and Political Analyst for the Jerusalem based Al Quds Daily Newspaper, discuss the roots of the current hostilities between Israel and Hamas, each side’s motivations and demands, and prospects for reaching a ceasefire leading to a long-term political settlement with host Carol Castiel.

July 25, 2014


MALAYSIAN AIRLINER -- UKRAINE/RUSSIA   On this edition of the program William Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Jeffrey Mankoff, Deputy Director and Fellow in the Russia and Eurasia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discuss with host Carol Castiel the political fallout from the downing of the Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine as evidence increasingly points to Russian complicity.

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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)