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.

July 26, 2014

Press Conference USA

REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN HOWARD "BUCK" MCKEON - CALIFORNIA   On this edition of the program, host Carol Castiel and VOA congressional correspondent Cindy Saine talk with Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, a Republican from the state of California and chairman of the influential House Armed Services Committee about a series of international and domestic issues including the civil conflicts raging in Iraq and Syria, the Gaza-Israel war, the downing of Malaysian flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, and the influx of migrant minors from Central America into the United States.

July 19, 2014

Press Conference USA

ALAN ROMBERG - FELLOW AND DIRECTOR, EAST ASIA PROGRAM, STIMSON CENTER   On this edition of the program, host Carol Castiel and Sarah Williams, co-anchor of VOA's "China Focus", talk to Alan Romberg, Distinguished Fellow and Director of the East Asia Program at the Stimson Center about the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent diplomatic efforts in Asia, and the status of the US-China relations vis-a vis issues ranging from cyber-spying to the disputed territorial waters of South and East China Seas.

July 12, 2014

Press Conference USA

ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR AFRICAN AFFAIRS, LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD   Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield sits down with host Carol Castiel to preview the purpose and goals of the first-ever US-African Leaders Summit to take place in Washington from August 5 to 6. They also discuss US policy toward Africa including efforts to end the tragic civil war in South Sudan, combat the terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria, bring stability to Mali and the Central African Republic, counter China’s nefarious influence on the continent, foster good governance and to fight corruption.  

July 05, 2014

Press Conference USA

STUART GILMAN, SENIOR ANTI-CORRUPTION ADVISOR, UNDP, ARAB REGION, AND SENIOR PARTNER, GLOBAL INTEGRITY GROUP   On this edition of the program, host Carol Castiel and Jeffrey Young, senior investigative correspondent for VOA-TV, talk with Stuart Gilman, senior anti-corruption advisor for the UNDP program in the Arab region and senior partner at the Global Integrity Group, about the corrosive effects of corruption around the globe. He hails Botswana, Tunisia and Slovenia for making great strides in both preventing and punishing the abuse of public funds for private gain and chastises Nigeria for squandering its great wealth to the detriment of human, economic and social development.

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.  

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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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