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 July 03, 2015

SUPREME COURT RULINGS. Two senior political analysts discuss with host Carol Castiel how recent landmark Supreme Court rulings on the US healthcare law and Same-Sex marriage influence the legacy of President Barack Obama and the 2016 presidential elections.

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.

January 16, 2015


PARIS MASSACRES Mustafa Akyol, prominent Turkish journalist who writes for the Star and Hurriyet Daily News and author of “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty,” and Philippe Le Corre, visiting fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, discuss the murderous attacks on cartoonists at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and on Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris with host Carol Castiel.

January 09, 2015


GOP CONGRESS AGENDA Host Carol Castiel talks with John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project at the Bi-Partisan Policy Center and Arkadi Gerney, Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress, about the legislative agenda of the 114th Congress and whether or not divided government will produce more gridlock or provide opportunities for compromise with the Democratic White House.

January 04, 2015


FOREIGN POLICY 2015 Host Carol Castiel talks with Anthony Clark Arend, Professor of Government and Foreign Service and Ambassador Mark Lagon, President of Freedom House, about the major foreign policy and national security challenges facing President Barack Obama in his final term such as US-Cuba relations, Iran nuclear talks, and the fight against the so-called Islamic State, and to what extent the Republican controlled Congress will either help or hinder his agenda.

December 26, 2014


HIGHLIGHTS IN 2014 On this special edition of Encounter --- excerpts from discussions about key international and domestic stories in 2014. From Boko Haram in Nigeria, to the rise of the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, to the high stakes nuclear talks with Iran, to Sino-US relations, to the controversial debate over capital punishment in America, host Carol Castiel brings you highlights from Encounter in 2014.

December 19, 2014


US SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT ON CIA TORTURE. P. J. Crowley, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, now a fellow at George Washington University, and Steven Groves, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation, spar over the timing, methodology, content and lessons learned from the controversial Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report about the CIA’s program of harsh interrogation and detention in the aftermath of 9-11, as well as ramifications for US policy going forward.

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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)