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.

June 28, 2014

Press Conference USA

OLYMPIA SNOWE, FORMER US SENATOR, MAINE, CURRENT SENIOR FELLOW, BIPARTISAN POLICY CENTER   On this edition of the program, host Carol Castiel talks with former Republican Senator from the state of Maine, Olympia Snowe, now senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and Co-chair of its Commission on Political Reform, about recommendations in the Commission's newly released report, "Governing in a Polarized America: A Bipartisan Blueprint to Strengthen our Democracy." Snowe, a centrist Republican who consistently "reached across the aisle" to forge consensus with like-minded Democrats during her 18-year tenure in the Senate, bemoans what she calls the "politics of destruction" and polarization that have come to characterize US politics. She and her Commission colleagues, a mix of Democrats and Republicans, advocate short and long-term reforms, such as independent re-districting commissions and more grassroots involvement in public service, to re-kindle bipartisanship, reduce congressional dysfunction and strengthen the U.S government on the national and global stage.

June 21, 2014

Press Conference USA

SONER CAGAPTAY, DIRECTOR OF TURKISH RESEARCH PROGRAM, WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY On this edition of the program, Soner Cagaptay, Director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of “The Rise of Turkey,” discusses with host Carol Castiel and Dakhil Shammou, broadcaster in VOA’s Kurdish Service, the domestic and foreign policy challenges facing Turkey. Once held up as a model of democracy for Muslim majority countries during the Arab Spring uprisings, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has come under attack for alleged corruption scandals and muzzling of free speech. Regarding foreign policy, Cagaptay says that Ankara’s previous “zero problems with neighbors” policy has been turned on its head since countries bordering Turkey, namely Syria and Iraq, are wracked by violence and sectarian conflict which threaten Turkey’s stability. Cagaptay argues that one bright spot is Turkey’s relationship with the Kurdistan Regional Government in Northern Iraq, which acts as a buffer against ISIL, the extremist al-Qaida offshoot, which has captured key Iraqi cities and threatens to overrun the Maliki government.

June 14, 2014

Press Conference USA

KATHERINE ZIMMERMAN, TERRORISM EXPERT, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE On this edition of the program, host Carol Castiel and Henok Fente, reporter with VOA’s Horn of Africa Service, talk with Katherine Zimmerman, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, about the merits and drawbacks of President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism strategy as it relates to combatting al-Qaida affiliates and extremist groups from Iraq and Syria to Nigeria, Mali, Yemen and Somalia.  

June 07, 2014

Press Conference USA

H.E. FRANCOIS DELATTRE, FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES To mark the 70th anniversary of the allied D-Day invasion against Nazi forces in World War II, H.E. Francois Delattre, the French Ambassador to the United States, speaks with host Carol Castiel about the increasingly important Franco-US relationship. He discusses US-EU cooperation in countering Russia's aggressive moves in Ukraine (but also addresses the controversial French sale of mistral warships to Moscow which the US opposes), the need to bolster Kiev, policy toward Syria, fighting al-Qaida linked extremists and criminal networks in Mali and CAR, nuclear talks with Iran, results of parliamentary elections in Europe, and the TTIP, Transatlantic trade and Investment Partnership.

May 31, 2014

Press Conference USA

PAUL SALEM / EGYPTIAN ELECTION ANALYSIS On this edition of the program host Carol Castiel, and VOA Senior Reporter, Mohamed Elshinnawi, talk with Paul Salem, Vice President of the Middle East Institute, formerly Director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Beirut, about the implications of the presidential elections in Egypt, which were marked by low turnout, potentially undermining the legitimacy of former army chief Abdel Fatah al Sissi, who won by a landslide. Salem discusses the daunting political and economic challenges facing Sissi’s new government, the role of the now banned Muslim Brotherhood, US-Egypt relations and the potential for healing a polarized society.

May 24, 2014

Press Conference USA

JOHN LENCZOWSKI, THE INSTITUTE OF WORLD POLITICS In the run-up to elections in Ukraine, host Carol Castiel and VOA senior news analyst Andre DeNesnera talk with John Lenczowski, Founder and President of the Institute of World Politics, formerly advisor on European and Soviet Affairs during the Reagan administration, about the ramifications of Russia’s information war in Eastern Ukraine. Moscow’s tight control and monopoly over mainstream media allows it to foment instability through the dissemination of propaganda and disinformation. Lenczowski asserts that Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is connected to his need to preserve internal security in Russia.  

May 17, 2014

Press Conference USA

AMBASSADOR MARC GINSBERG A candid conversation with Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, former US Ambassador to Morocco, currently CEO of OneVoice, an organization which aims to amplify the voices of mainstream Palestinians and Israelis to achieve a two-state solution. Ambassador Ginsberg analyzes the factors that contributed to the recent collapse of the US-mediated peace talks and discusses the work and impact of the OneVoice Movement Foundation.

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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.
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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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