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 February 12, 2016

    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 11, 2015


    ROOTS OF MIGRANT CRISIS Rafif Jouejati, Director of Free Syria, and Spokeswoman for the Local Coordinating Committees in Syria and Demetrios Papademetriou, President Emeritus of the Migration Policy Institute, discuss the extent to which the Syrian war and violence in Iraq, among other unresolved conflicts, are driving the refugee crisis currently overwhelming Europe and what actions need to be taken by the international community to address the root causes of the refugee flow as well as the need for greater burden sharing in Europe, the United States and other parts of the world.

    September 04, 2015


    GUN VIOLENCE. Will a graphic shooting captured on live television and then posted on social media finally be a wake-up call for US legislators to pass gun control legislation? Host Carol Castiel discusses the tragic shooting in Roanoke and its implications with Harry Wilson, Professor of political science and Director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College and Arkadi Gerney, Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress.

    August 28, 2015


    POLITICS OF IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL. Barbara Slavin, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and Washington Correspondent for and Blaise Misztal, Director of the National Security program at the Bipartisan Policy Center, spar over the politics of the Iran deal as host Carol Castiel elicits their contrasting views about the upcoming vote in the US Congress.

    August 21, 2015


    POLITICS OF THE EU MIGRANT CRISIS. Ambassador Francois Rivasseau, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the United States, and Constanze Stelzenmüller, the Brookings Institution's Senior Fellow at the Center on the United States and Europe discuss the origins, politics and implications of the growing migrant crisis in Europe.

    August 14, 2015


    CAMPAIGN 2016 Igor Volsky, Managing Editor of at the Center for American Progress and Nathan Gonzales, Editor & Publisher of The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, talk with host Carol Castiel about the array of Democratic and Republican candidates seeking their party’s nomination for the White House, especially Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, two outsiders, who at least for now, have captured the attention of many Americans.

    August 07, 2015


    50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1965 VOTING RIGHTS ACT. Is the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act being slowly eroded? Are attempts by states to prevent voter fraud actually thinly veiled efforts to depress minority votes? Mark Lagon, President of Freedom House, Jon Greenbaum, Chief Counsel & Senior Deputy Director at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law, and Chris Simkins, VOA senior TV reporter, discuss with host Carol Castiel the significance of the 50th anniversary of the historic 1965 Voting Rights Act and the implications of the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that watered down some of the landmark legislation’s key provisions.

    July 31, 2015


    FREEDOM VS. SECURITY. Host Rick Pantaleo talks to Elliot Zweig, Deputy Director of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), and David Hudson, a First Amendment expert and law professor at the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center about how to strike a balance between net neutrality and freedom of speech and to not become the distribution channel for terrorists dangerous propaganda postings.

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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

    Anthony Clark Arend, Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and George Little, former assistant to the US Secretary of Defense, currently a Partner in the Brunswick Group discuss U.S. foreign policy priorities for 2016.  (December 23, 2015)