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 August 07, 2015

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.

March 06, 2015


PM NETANYHU / US CONGRESS Natan Sachs, Senior Fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution, and James Phillips, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the conservative Heritage Foundation, discuss the politics and substance of a controversial speech on Iran to the US Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, just two weeks before Israeli elections and three weeks before the deadline to conclude a high stakes deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

February 27, 2015


CYBERSECURITY Frank J. Cilluffo, Associate Vice President & Director of Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at the GWU, and Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, former Senior Council at the Computer & Intellectual Property Section at the US Department of Justice discuss the growing global cyber threats and what is being done to stop these computer-based offenses, with guest host Rick Pantaleo.

February 20, 2015


COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM SUMMIT Paul Pillar, Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, and Benjamin Haddad, Research Fellow specializing in European and Transatlantic Affairs at the Hudson Institute discuss the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism in the US and overseas after the recent attacks in Denmark, France and Australia.

February 13, 2015


NIGERIA ELECTION DELAY J. Peter Pham, director of The Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and Lauren Ploch Blanchard, Africa analyst at the Congressional Research Service, discuss with host Carol Castiel the many reasons--security, technical and political--behind the Nigerian government’s decision to postpone for six weeks the nation’s much-anticipated general elections as well as what’s at stake in the elections for Nigeria, the African continent and the United States.

February 06, 2015


ARMS TO UKRAINE? A surge in violence in Eastern Ukraine has prompted the White House to reconsider sending lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine. Host Carol Castiel talks with Ambassador Steven Pifer, former US Ambassador to Ukraine and William Pomeranz, Deputy Director, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center about the merits and risks of providing such weapons to Ukraine.

January 30, 2015


YEMEN CRISIS The US-backed government in Yemen fell to the Iran-backed Houthi rebels jeopardizing US counter-terrorism efforts against AQAP. Host Carol Castiel speaks with Nadwa Al-Dawsari, a leading Yemeni expert on tribes and tribal conflicts and executive director of the Sheba Center for International Development and Charles Schmitz, a specialist on Yemen and Saudi Arabia at the Middle East Institute, about the internal and external political ramifications of Yemen’s collapse.

January 23, 2015


US - CUBA With a little help from Pope Francis, US President Barack Obama upended more than 50 years of history in December 2014 by moving to restore diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. Host Carol Castiel talks with Mike Gonzalez, Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation who argues against the shift and Ted Piccone, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, who defends the Obama administration’s efforts.

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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)