radio / Press Conference USA

Join host Carol Castiel for this 30-minute weekly newsmaker program that provides listeners around the globe with information and insights on a wide range of topics spanning U.S. politics, foreign policy, global health, science and culture. Carol and other panelists interview bestselling authors, analysts, U.S. government officials, ambassadors and foreign heads of state about critical issues.

December 20, 2014

Press Conference USA

US STRATEGY TO COMBAT ISIL IN SYRIA AND IRAQ Host Carol Castiel, speaks with Sarah Margon, Washington director of Human Rights Watch, about how to combat the reign of terror being inflicted by the so-called Islamic State (ISIL) terrorists in Iraq and Syria. She asserts that the brutal tactics employed by Syrian President Bashar al Assad and Shiite militias in Iraq, which help fuel the rise of ISIL, must also be confronted. She also tells VOA that US and coalition air strikes alone on IS strongholds are insufficient to defeat ISIL’s onslaught and that only political and security reforms, which address Sunni grievances especially in Iraq, can truly accelerate long-term stability and keep Iraq from fragmenting along sectarian lines.

December 13, 2014

Press Conference USA

NIGERIA/BOKO HARAM Host Carol Castiel and Leo Keyen, Chief of VOA’s Hausa Service, speak with Ambassador John Campbell, Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and South Africa, about the rise of Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria – its origins and evolution, and why better governance, not force is ultimately the most effective tool to fight the terrorist group.

December 06, 2014

Press Conference USA

MINORITIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST Host Carol Castiel talks with Edmund Ghareeb, Professor of Middle East History and Politics at The American University, about the plight of minorities, especially Christians, in the greater Middle East as a once religiously and ethnically diverse region is succumbing to intolerance and extremism at the hands of fundamentalist Islamists such as ISIL, also known as the Islamic State.

November 29, 2014

Press Conference USA

US POLICY TOWARD SYRIA Host Carol Castiel talks with former US Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford about his split with the Obama administration over US policy toward Syria. Ambassador Ford argues that unless and until the United States and other friends of Syria address one of the root causes of the conflict in Syria – Bashar al Assad and his brutal attacks on the armed and unarmed opposition—no amount of air strikes against the so-called Islamic State or ISIL will be effective.

November 22, 2014

Press Conference USA

SHADI HAMID/ "TEMPTATIONS OF POWER" On this edition of the program, Host Carol Castiel and VOA Senior Editor and former Cairo Bureau Chief, Elizabeth Arrott, speak with Shadi Hamid, Fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution about his new book, Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East. Hamid explains how democratic elections have ironically rendered political Islamists more conservative and illiberal than moderate.

November 15, 2014

Press Conference USA

VIKRAM CHANDRA/"GEEK SUBLIME" Vikram Chandra is a prizewinning novelist and computer programmer. On this edition of Press Conference USA, VOA Reporter Doug Bernard talks with Mr. Chandra about his new book, “Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty” in which he examines the surprising connections between the world of art and the world of technology.

November 08, 2014

Press Conference USA

YOCHI DREAZEN/ "THE INVISIBLE FRONT"In commemoration of Veteran’s Day, Carol Castiel and Maggie Quinn speak with Yochi Dreazen, managing editor of Foreign Policy Magazine, about his poignant new book, The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War. Through the lens of one military family, Dreazen highlights the institutional shortcomings of the U.S. armed forces, particularly its failure to address and prevent the high rates of suicide among American troops.

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Carol Castiel is also the host of Encounter and co-produces Issues in the News with Ania Zalewski at the Voice of America.
Broadcast Schedule
Press Conference USA 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: 0430 1130 1230 1730 1930 2130 UTC
  • Sundays:   0330 1430 1800 UTC

Carol Castiel

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.

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Other Current Affairs Programs:

Carol Castiel hosts a panel of experts on opposite sides of a controversial issue.
Issues in the news -Prominent Washington correspondents discuss topics making headlines around the world.