There are four women and one man on the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Members are elected by Norwegian lawmakers so the panel reflects the political makeup of Parliament.
The five members are:
Thorbjoern Jagland. 59. Chairman. Has served as lawmaker for the left-leaning Labor Party for 16 years. Was Norway's prime minister from 1996-1997 and foreign minister from 2000-2001. Member of the prize committee since 2009. Elected secretary-general of the Council of Europe on Sept. 29.
Dismissed criticism that giving the prize to Obama was premature. "Too early? Well, I'd say then that it could be too late to respond three years from now. It is now that we have the opportunity to respond," he told AP.
Kaci Kullman Five. 58. Deputy chair. Served as lawmaker for the right-wing Conservative Party 1981-97 and chaired the party 1991-94. Briefly served as Norwegian trade minister. Held a seat on board of Norwegian oil company Statoil until 2007. Member of the prize committee since 2003.
Told AP the committee covers "the political spectrum in Norway" but doesn't view its selections as political. "We have one duty and that is to do what Alfred Nobel put in his will."
Sissel Marie Roenbeck. 59. Labor Party lawmaker until 1993. Has held Cabinet posts as minister for administration and consumer affairs, environment and transport and communications. Member of the prize committee since 1994.
Inger-Marie Ytterhorn. 68. Senior political adviser to the parliamentary group of the right-wing populist Progress Party. Lawmaker from 1989-93. Member of the prize committee since 2000. Told AP the prize could be seen as praising Obama's reversal of Bush administration policies: "I guess you could read it like that."
Aagot Valle. 64. Lawmaker for the Socialist Left party. Joined the peace prize committee in 2009. Expects Bush supporters to criticize decision to award Obama: "Those who were in support of Bush in his belief in war solving problems, on rearmament, and that nuclear weapons play an important role ... probably won't be happy."