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.


December 19, 2014

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.


December 12, 2014

Encounter

AFTER FERGUSSON PART II Elsie Scott, Howard University’s Founding Director of the Ron W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center and Malik Aziz, Chairman of the National Black Police Association, discuss with host Carol Castiel how the grand jury decisions not to charge the white police officers in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases and the protests they sparked mark a major turning point in the United States which will require serious reforms to the grand jury system, concerted efforts to diversify the make-up of local police forces, more judicial use of deadly force, and greater community participation in local politics, among many other reforms/changes.


December 05, 2014

Encounter

AFTER FERGUSON PART I Sam Fulwood III, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Andrew Ferguson, Associate Professor of Law at the University of The District of Columbia, discuss with host Carol Castiel how the deaths of two black men—one in Ferguson, Missouri and one in New York City---and the respective grand jury decisions not to indict the white police officers involved, have triggered a debate about the use of excessive force by local police as well as racial profiling in America.


November 28, 2014

Encounter

IMMIGRATION REFORM - OBAMA EXECUTIVE ORDER John Fortier, Political Scientist and Director of the Democracy Project at The Bipartisan Policy Center and Igor Volsky, Managing Editor of ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress discuss with host Carol Castiel the politics and substance of President Obama’s recent unilateral action on immigration, the implications for the Latino community, and what the likely response will be from the incoming Republican-controlled Congress.


November 21, 2014

Encounter

IRAN: DEAL OR NO DEAL? As the November 24th deadline looms for reaching a deal between Iran and the P-5+ Germany on Iran’s nuclear program, host Carol Castiel talks with Emanuele Ottolenghi, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Alex Vatanka, Senior Fellow at The Middle East Institute, who spar over what’s at stake in the negotiations, US and Iranian domestic politics and the implications of the potential outcomes: success, failure or an extension of the talks.


November 15, 2014

Encounter

OBAMA IN ASIA Patrick Cronin, Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, discuss with host Carol Castiel the outcomes and implications of President Obama’s trip to Asia, including the APEC and ASEAN summits as well as his State visit to China and meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.


November 07, 2014

Encounter

U.S. MIDTERM ELECTION ANALYSIS John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project at The Bi-Partisan Policy Center and Stuart Rothenberg, Editor and Publisher of the Rothenberg Political Report, discuss the significance and implications of the 2014 U.S. midterm elections in which the opposition Republican Party has wrested control of the Senate from the Democrats and what it all means for the Obama administration moving forward, with host Carol Castiel.


October 31, 2014

Encounter

EBOLA UPDATE J. Peter Pham, Director of the Africa Center at The Atlantic Council and Kristi Rogers, Managing Director and CEO of Aspen Health Care Services, discuss with host Carol Castiel the status and impact of international and local efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone as well as the political, social, and economic toll the virus has taken on these countries.


October 24, 2014

Encounter

YEMEN CRISIS While the fight against ISIL has grabbed international headlines, Yemen, home to the most deadly al Qaida affiliate, AQAP, is in turmoil due to recent aggression by the Houthi Movement, a Zaydi Shia rebel militia, which has overrun the capital Sana’a and threatens the integrity and stability of the state. Danya Greenfield of The Atlantic Council and Graeme Bannerman, non-resident expert at the Middle East Institute, discuss what’s at stake in Yemen, with host Carol Castiel.


October 17, 2014

Encounter

TURKEY, KURDS & ISIL Denise Natali, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University and Kadir Ustun, Research Director at The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), demystify the controversy surrounding Turkey’s role in the US-led coalition to fight ISIL with host Carol Castiel.


October 10, 2014

Encounter

HONG KONG PROTESTS David M. Lampton, Professor and Director of China Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies and author of “Following the Leader: Ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping” and Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation discuss with host Carol Castiel the significance and broader implications of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and what’s at stake for Chinese President Xi Jinping.


October 03, 2014

Encounter

U.S. - INDIA RELATIONS Michael Kugelman, Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center and Sadanand Dhume, Resident Fellow at The American Enterprise Institute discuss the significance and outcome of India Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Washington as well as prospects for stability under the new Afghan government, with host Carol Castiel.


September 26, 2014

Encounter

EBOLA & ECONOMY/POLITICS Stephen Morrison, Senior Vice President and Director for the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic & International Studies and Amadou Sy, Senior Fellow of the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution discuss the political and economic implications of the Ebola virus as it continues to devastate West Africa, with host Carol Castiel.


September 19, 2014

Encounter

ISIL/MIDTERM ELECTIONS-John Fortier, Political Scientist and Director of the Democracy Project at the Bi-Partisan Policy Center and Igor Volsky, Managing Editor of ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress discuss U.S. politics, in particular Congress’s debate over the fight against ISIL as well the upcoming mid-term elections, with host Carol Castiel.


September 12, 2014

Encounter

OBAMA - ISIL STRATEGY Paul Pillar, Professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University and Faysal Itani, resident fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at The Atlantic Council discuss the pros and cons of President Obama’s broad-based strategy to combat the ISIL threat, with host Carol Castiel.


September 05, 2014

Encounter

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

Encounter

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

Encounter

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

Encounter

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

Encounter

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

Encounter

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

Encounter

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.


July 18, 2014

Encounter

U.S. BORDER AND IMMIGRATION   On this edition of the program we welcome, Eric Farnsworth, Vice President of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society, and Jerry Kammer, Senior Research Fellow at the Center of Immigration Studies to discuss the rising number of unaccompanied minors migrating from Central America to the US, and how it has changed the political debate on immigration reform in the United States, with host Doug Bernard.


July 11, 2014

Encounter

THE USES AND ABUSES OF SOCIAL MEDIA   On this edition of the program host Doug Bernard talks with Andrew Borene, Attorney at Steptoe & Johnson and an adviser for the Truman National Security Project Defense Council, and Cori Dauber, Professor of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina and author of YouTube Wars, about the various uses of social media in conflict situations and how these tools might be changing the balance of power between governments and insurgencies. 


July 04, 2014

Encounter

IRAQ AND SYRIA - ISLAMIC STATE   Jessica Lewis, research director at the Institute for the Study of War and Faysal Itani, resident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, discuss the inextricable links between the conflicts in Iraq and Syria with host Carol Castiel. They suggest that in addition to pressing for greater power sharing among Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites in Bagdad, the only way to defeat the terror group ISIS also known as the Islamic State, which has terrorized Iraqis and seized territory in the north and west of Iraq, is to help the moderate opposition in Syria defeat both the Assad regime and ISIS in Syria.


June 27, 2014

Encounter

BRAZIL - WORLD CUP   Paulo Sotero, director of the Brazil Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Sonny Young, host of VOA’s Sonny Side of Sports Show, assess the performances and politics of the 2014 World Cup with host Carol Castiel. They assess victories and losses, preview “the round of 16” and discuss the potential political fallout for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff over alleged excessive spending on the World Cup to the detriment of social services and education, in the run-up to national elections in 2014.


June 20, 2014

Encounter

POLITICS OF CANTOR DEFEAT John Fortier, director of the Democracy Project at the Bi-Partisan Policy Center and Igor Volsky, Managing Editor of ThinkProgress.org, a progressive political blog affiliated with the Center for American Progress, talk with host Carol Castiel about the implications of the stunning defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary election - what it means for the upcoming mid-term elections and the future of the GOP. They also discuss President Barack Obama’s lackluster approval ratings and to what extent they will hurt Democrats in the mid-term elections.


June 13, 2014

Encounter

OBAMA - FOREIGN POLICY Republicans and Democrats alike have expressed reservations about President Barack Obama’s handling of foreign policy, especially toward Syria. Brian Katulis, senior fellow at the progressive Center for American Progress and Kim Holmes, distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation, discuss with host Carol Castiel President Obama’s view of the world and the US role in it as the United States attempts to project a lighter footprint and work with allies to achieve its foreign policy objectives.  


June 06, 2014

Encounter

U.S. INITIATIVE ON CLIMATE CHANGE In a bid to curb global warming and improve the health of Americans, President Barack Obama announced a controversial plan to cut carbon emissions from US power plants by nearly one-third in the next 15 years.  On this edition of the program an advocate, Kevin Kennedy, director of the US Climate Initiative and Energy Program at the World Resources Institute, and an opponent, Nicolas Loris, Senior Policy Analyst at the Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, spar over the political, health, climate and economic implications of the plan with host Carol Castiel.


May 30, 2014

Encounter

NIGERIA  - BOKO HARAM J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and Lauren Ploch Blanchard, Africa analyst at the Congressional Research Service, an arm of the Library of Congress, talk with host Carol Castiel about Nigeria’s struggle to combat the homegrown terrorist group Boko Haram in the wake of the spectacular abduction in April of more than 250 schoolgirls, which shocked the world and prompted countries from the United States to China to offer military and technical support to the Nigerian government.


May 23, 2014

Encounter

INDIAN ELECTION RESULTS Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow in the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage foundation and Michael Kugelman, Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Wilson Center, discuss the domestic and regional implications of the landslide victory of Narendra Modi in India’s general election with host Carol Castiel.  


May 16, 2014

Encounter

DEATH PENALTY DEBATE IN AMERICA A botched execution in the U.S. State of Oklahoma has sparked renewed debate over the death penalty in the United States.  Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and Jon Malcolm, Director, and Senior Legal fellow in the Edwin Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation spar over the methods and merits of the death penalty with host Carol Castiel. 


May 09, 2014

Encounter

SEC. KERRY IN AFRICA / SUDAN, NIGERIA CRISES Host Carol Castiel talks with Ambassador David Shinn, Professor of International Affairs at The George Washington University and former ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, and Richard Downie, Deputy Director and Fellow with the CSIS Africa Program, about US Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent visit to Africa, the plight of Nigeria’s missing girls and prospects for resolving the civil war in South Sudan.


May 02, 2014

Encounter

IRAQ ELECTION ANALYSIS Host Carol Castiel talks with Sarhang Hamasaeed, senior program officer for the Middle-East and North Africa Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace and Ahmed Ali, Iraq Research Analyst and Iraq Team Lead at Institute for the Study of War, about the conduct of the Iraq elections, prospects for an alternative to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and how Iraq can tackle the growing insurgency in Anbar province and create a more stable, unified Iraq. 


April 25, 2014

Encounter

UKRAINE CRISIS As Washington sends hundreds of paratroopers to Poland and three Baltic states in response to ongoing tensions in Ukraine, host Carol Castiel speaks with Ariel Cohen, Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy at the Heritage Foundation and William Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center, about the future of Ukraine and the geopolitical implications of the growing rift between Russia and the United States.


April 18, 2014

Encounter

SOUTH SUDAN / C.A.R. CRISES Jon Temin, Director of Africa Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace and J. Peter Pham, Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, discuss the roots and ramifications of the political and humanitarian crises in South Sudan and the Central African Republic with host Carol Castiel.


April 11, 2014

Encounter

AFGHAN ELECTION Michael Kugelman, Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Wilson Center, and Ahmad Majidyar, Senior Research Associate at the American Enterprise Institute, discuss with host Carol Castiel the conduct and strong turnout in Afghanistan’s recent historic election, prospects for stability and economic development and  implications for Kabul’s future ties with its regional neighbors and the United States.


April 04, 2014

Encounter

THE MIDDLE EAST TALKS Ghaith al-Omari, Executive Director of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), and Nathan Guttman, Washington Bureau Chief of The Jewish Daily Forward, discuss with host Carol Castiel US diplomatic efforts to break the current impasse in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and prospects for salvaging the two-state solution.


March 28, 2014

Encounter

THE POLITICS OF PROMOTING DEMOCRACY David Kramer, President of Freedom House, and  Merdijana Sadovic, Regional Director for Western Balkans at the Institute of War and Peace Reporting, discuss the mechanics of democracy promotion and to what extent the US pro-democracy organizations support the protests across the world, with host Doug Bernard.


March 21, 2014

Encounter

SYRIA CRISIS / US - RUSSIA TENSIONS The Geneva II Peace talks on Syria ended in stalemate. Washington has ordered Damascus to close its Embassy and consulates in the United States because of the regime’s brutality against its own citizens. The moderate rebel opposition is fighting a two front war against Assad and al Qaida-linked extremists.  And Moscow may be even less likely to pressure its erstwhile ally, Syrian President Bashar al Assad, to make concessions given tensions between Russia and the US over the crisis in Ukraine. So what to do about the devastating humanitarian, economic and strategic consequences of the civil war in Syria?  Andrew Tabler, Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Valerie Szybala, Research Analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, review the trajectory of the conflict and discuss possible next steps in bringing the carnage to an end with host Carol Castiel.

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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.
 
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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.

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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.