List of members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee

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A white and green room with a wooden table in the middle, surrounded by turquoise and wooden chairs. The walls are lined with portraits and have two dark, wooden doors.
The committee meeting room at the Norwegian Nobel Institute
The first meeting of the committee in 1897. From the left Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, John Lund, Hans Jacob Horst, Jørgen Løvland, Christian Lange and Carl Berner.

The five members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee award the Nobel Peace Prize every year. They are appointed by the Parliament of Norway and roughly represent the political makeup of that body. The committee was established in 1897, and has awarded the prize most years since 1901. Fifty-four people have sat on the committee, of which ten have been women. Thirteen have been chair and six deputy chair. The awards in 1935 (to Carl von Ossietzky), 1973 (to Henry Kissinger) and 1994 (to Yasser Arafat) caused members of the committee to withdraw due to disagreement with the committee decision.

Since 2018, the members are Berit Reiss-Andersen (chair, of the Labour Party), Henrik Syse (deputy chair, of the Conservative Party), Thorbjørn Jagland (Labour Party), Anne Enger (Centre Party) and Asle Toje (Progress Party). Historically, the committee's members have represented seven political parties, including (in addition to the four parties currently represented) the Liberal Party, the Socialist Left Party and the Christian People's Party. Six people have sat as the committee's secretary, who is also director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute. Since 2015, this has been Olav Njølstad, historian, biographer and novelist.

Appointment[edit]

The five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee was established on 5 August 1897, after the Parliament of Norway accepted the duty to award the Nobel Peace Prize as stated in the will of Alfred Nobel.[1] The first prize was awarded in 1901.[2] The Committee is assisted by a secretariat that is part of the Norwegian Nobel Institute.[3] In 1901, the committee was renamed the Nobel Committee of the Parliament of Norway, but this was reverted in 1977.[1] In 1948, the election system was changed to make the committee more proportional to the representation in parliament.[4] From then until 1967, the Labour Party, who held a majority in parliament, had three representatives in the committee.[2]

It is no longer possible for active parliamentarians to sit on the committee, except for the last half year of parliamentary representation, if they have stated that they will not run for re-election. This allowed Jagland and Valle to sit on the committee in 2009, while they were still elected. The appointment is made by parliament after nominations by the parties who are to be represented in the committee.

Since 2009, the Labour Party had two seats, while the three next-largest parties, the Progress Party, the Conservative Party and the Centre Party, each have one representative. The remaining parties in parliament are not represented.[5]

Current members[edit]

Berit Reiss-Andersen, current chair of the Committee since 2017
  1. Berit Reiss-Andersen (born 11 July 1954) has sat on the committee since 2012, was a deputy chair from 2015 to 2017, and chair since 2018. She is a lawyer, author and former Labour Party politician. She served as state secretary for the Minister of Justice and Police from 1996 to 1997 and as President of the Norwegian Bar Association from 2008 to 2012.[6]
  2. Anne Enger (born 9 December 1949) has sat on the committee since 2018. She is a Centre Party politician, independent adviser, former Party leader (1991-1999), former Minister of Culture and Deputy Prime Minister (1997-1999) and former County Governor of Østfold (2004-2015).[6][7]
  3. Asle Toje (born 16 February 1974) has sat on the committee since 2018. He is a foreign policy scholar and commentator, former Research Director at the Norwegian Nobel Institute.
  4. Kristin Clemet (born 1957) has sat on the committee since 2021.[6]
  5. Jørgen Watne Frydnes (born 1984) has sat on the committee since 2021.[6]

All members[edit]

Head and shoulders of a man in his seventies talking into a mounted microphone. He is conservatively dressed in a suite and wears round glasses.
Francis Sejersted was chair from 1991 to 1999.
Gunnar Berge was chair from 2000 to 2002.
Half-portrait of a man in his seventies looking away from the viewer. He wears a suit and glasses.
Ole Danbolt Mjøs was chair from 2003 to 2008.
Two men in suits standing in three-quarter portrait. The man in his forties to the right looks proud, while holding a diploma and a medal in a case. The man in his sixties to the left looks satisfied.
Thorbjørn Jagland, chair of the Committee in 2009–2015, awarding the 2009 Prize to Barack Obama

The committee has had 59 different members. Fifteen people have been chair and nine deputy chair. Twelve women have sat on the committee, starting with Aase Lionæs in 1949. From 2009 to 2011, four of the board's five members were women. Christian Lous Lange is the only person to have both sat on the committee and been its secretary, and the only peace laureate to have sat on the committee. Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson was, however, awarded the Nobel Literature Prize. The longest-serving members are Hans Jacob Horst and Aase Lionæs, who both served for 30 years. The longest-sitting chair is Gunnar Jahn, who sat for 26 years as chair and 29 years on the committee. The longest period without any changes to the committee was the 15 years from 1949 to 1963. The shortest-sitting member was Esther Kostøl, who sat for less than a year in 1997.[2][6]

Seven political parties have been represented in the committee. The first committee consisted exclusively of members of the Liberal Party. The party was represented on all committees until 1973, after which it has not had a seat. In 1907, Francis Hagerup became the first representative from the Conservative Party, and this party has been represented on the board since. The Labour Party has been represented on the board since 1919, when Halvdan Koht became a member. The Agrarian Party (since named the Centre Party) was first represented on the board by Birger Braadland in 1938. The Christian Democratic Party was first represented by Erling Wikborg in 1965, the Socialist Left Party by Hanna Kvanmo in 1991 and the Progress Party by Inger-Marie Ytterhorn in 2000.[2]

Three awards have resulted in members withdrawing from the committee. Following the 1935 award to the German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, Johan Ludwig Mowinckel and Halvdan Koht withdrew. Koht was later re-appointed to the committee.[2] Following the 1973 award to Lê Đức Thọ and Henry Kissinger, Einar Hovdhaugen and Helge Rognlien withdrew. Following the 1994 award to Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, Kåre Kristiansen withdrew.[2][8][9]

Thorbjørn Jagland sat on the committee from 2009 to 2020 and was its chair in 2009–2015. In March 2015, Jagland was demoted as a chairman, the first such move since the establishment of the Committee, but remained member. There was no official reason given for demotion, but a lot of criticism was aimed at him for awarding the Prize to Barack Obama, to the EU, and to Liu Xiaobo.[10][11]

Member[2] Start End Tenure (years) Party Chair Deputy chair
Jørgen Løvland 1901 1921 21 Liberal 1901–21
John Lund 1901 1912 12 Liberal 1901–13[12]
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson 1901 1906 6 Liberal
Johannes Steen 1901 1904 4 Liberal
Hans Jacob Horst 1901 1930 30 Liberal 1914–22[12]
Carl Berner 1905 1918 14 Liberal
Francis Hagerup 1907 1920 14 Conservative
Cornelius Bernhard Hanssen 1913 1939 27 Liberal 1922–39[12][13]
Halvdan Koht 1919 1944 22[note 1] Labour
Fredrik Stang 1921 1940 20 Conservative 1922–40
Wollert Konow 1922 1924 3 Liberal
Christian Holtermann Knudsen 1924 1924 1 Labour
Johan Ludwig Mowinckel 1925 1936 12 Liberal
Axel Thallaug 1931 1933 3 Conservative
Christian Lous Lange 1934 1938 6 Labour
Gunnar Jahn 1938 1966 29 Liberal 1941–66
Birger Braadland 1938 1948 10[note 2] Agrarian
Anders Vassbotn 1938 1939 2 Liberal
Carl Joachim Hambro 1940 1963 22[note 3] Conservative 1945–49[14]
Martin Tranmæl 1940 1963 24 Labour
Halvard Manthey Lange 1945 1948 3[note 4] Labour
Christian Oftedal 1946 1947 2 Liberal
Herman Smitt Ingebretsen 1946 1946 1 Conservative
Aase Lionæs 1949 1978 30 Labour 1968–78
Gustav Natvig-Pedersen 1964 1966 3 Labour 1949–65[14][15]
Nils Langhelle 1964 1966 3 Labour 1967 1965–66[15]
John Lyng 1964 1965 2 Conservative
Erling Wikborg 1965 1969 5 Christian Democratic
Bernt Ingvaldsen 1967 1975 9 Conservative 1967 1967,
1968–75[15]
Helge Refsum 1967 1972 6 Centre
Helge Rognlien 1967 1973 7 Liberal
John Sanness 1970 1981 12 Labour 1979–81
Einar Hovdhaugen 1973 1973 1 Centre
Egil Aarvik 1974 1989 16 Christian Democratic 1982–89 1976–81
Trygve Haugeland 1974 1984 11 Centre
Sjur Lindebrække 1976 1981 6 Conservative
Else Germeten 1979 1984 6 Labour
Gidske Anderson 1982 1993 12 Labour 1990 1981–90
1991–93
Francis Sejersted 1982 1999 18 Conservative 1991–99 1990
Odvar Nordli 1985 1996 12 Labour
Gunnar Stålsett 1985 2002 19[note 5] Centre 2000–02
2012 2014
Kaare Sandegren 1990 1996 3[note 6] Labour
Kåre Kristiansen 1991 1994 4 Christian Democratic
Hanna Kvanmo 1991 2002 12 Socialist Left 1993–98
Sissel Rønbeck 1994 2011 18[note 7] Labour
Gunnar Berge 1997 2002 6 Labour 2000–02 1999
Esther Kostøl 1997 1997 1 Labour
Inger-Marie Ytterhorn[16] 2000 2017 18 Progress
Ole Danbolt Mjøs 2003 2008 6 Christian Democratic 2003–08
Berge Furre 2003 2008 6 Socialist Left 2003–08
Kaci Kullmann Five 2003 2017 15 Conservative 2015–17 2009–15
Thorbjørn Jagland 2009 2020 12 Labour 2009–15
Ågot Valle[17] 2009 2011 3 Socialist Left
Berit Reiss-Andersen 2012 2023 12 Labour 2017– 2015–17
Henrik Syse 2015 2020 6 Conservative 2018–20
Anne Enger 2018 2026 9 Centre
Asle Toje 2018 2023 6 Progress[18]
Kristin Clemet[19] 2021 2026 6 Conservative
Jørgen Watne Frydnes[19] 2021 2026 6 Labour
Key
Current members in bold

Secretaries[edit]

Since 2015, the secretary has been Olav Njølstad (born 1957), director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, distinguished historian, biographer and novelist, and professor of history at the University of Oslo. He also was a member of the secretariat to the commission set by the Norwegian Parliament to critically evaluate the response to the 2011 Norway attacks.[20]

Secretary Start End Tenure (years)
Christian Lous Lange 1901 1909 9
Ragnvald Moe 1910 1945 36
August Schou 1946 1973 18
Tim Greve 1974 1977 4
Jakob Sverdrup 1978 1989 12
Geir Lundestad 1990 2014 25
Olav Njølstad 2015[20] present 6

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Halvdan Koht did not serve from 1937 through 1940.[2]
  2. ^ Birger Braadland did not serve in 1941.[2]
  3. ^ Carl Joachim Hambro was on leave of absence in 1946.[2]
  4. ^ Halvard Manthey Lange was on leave of absence in 1946.[2]
  5. ^ Gunnar Stålsett did not serve in 1994.[2]
  6. ^ Kaare Sandegren only served in 1990, during the last quarter of 1993 and the last quarter of 1996.[2]
  7. ^ Rønbeck was on leave from October 1996 to November 1997.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Heffermehl, 2008: 53–54
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Nobel Foundation. "The Norwegian Nobel Committee 1901-2017". Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  3. ^ Norwegian Nobel Institute. "The Nobel Institute". Archived from the original on 24 July 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  4. ^ Heffermehl, 2008: 84–85
  5. ^ Helljesen, Geir. "Bare nordmenn i Nobelkomiteen". Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (in Norwegian). Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  6. ^ a b c d e Norwegian Nobel Institute. "Committee members". Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Anne Enger Lahnstein". Norwegian Government. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  8. ^ Nobel Foundation. "Kristiansen, Kåre Gulbrand". Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  9. ^ Wiedswang, Kjetil. "The Other Nobel Controversy". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  10. ^ "Nobel peace prize committee chairman Thorbjørn Jagland demoted". The Guardian. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  11. ^ Poole, Thom (5 March 2015). "Why has the Nobel Peace Prize chairman been demoted?". BBC. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  12. ^ a b c Norwegian Nobel Committee. Aarsberetninger fra Det Norske Stortings Nobelkomité 1900–1930 (in Norwegian). Parliament of Norway.
  13. ^ Norwegian Nobel Committee. Aarsberetninger fra Det Norske Stortings Nobelkomité 1931–1945 (in Norwegian). Parliament of Norway.
  14. ^ a b Norwegian Nobel Committee. Aarsberetninger fra Det Norske Stortings Nobelkomité 1946–1960 (in Norwegian). Parliament of Norway.
  15. ^ a b c Norwegian Nobel Committee. Beretning fra Det Norske Stortings Nobelkomité for 1961–1975 (in Norwegian). Parliament of Norway.
  16. ^ "Ytterhorn, Inger-Marie (1941-)". Stortinget. 14 February 2020.
  17. ^ "Valle, Ågot (1945-)". Stortinget. 9 March 2008.
  18. ^ "Progress Party finds a new Nobel man". News in English.no. 8 February 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  19. ^ a b "Valg av medlemmer til Nobelkomiteen". stortinget.no (in Norwegian). 18 January 2021. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  20. ^ a b "New Nobel boss hints at change". News in English.no. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2020.

Bibliography[edit]