Jagland, 64, a former diplomat and Norwegian prime minister, will remain on the five-person committee, which is chosen by the country's parliament. Committee members changed after the Labor Party was swept from office in a 2013 election.
"There's a new committee with new people, and new people can always lead to new considerations," said Kaci Kullmann Five, an Oslo businesswoman, former Conservative Party leader and new chief of the Nobel Prize committee. "Jagland has been a good leader for the committee for six years."
The removal of the leader of the committee is unprecedented, and Jagland attracted numerous criticisms for the committee's choices for the prestigious Peace Prize during his term.
Shortly after Jagland became committee leader in 2009, the Peace Prize was awarded to U.S. President Barack Obama, who had been in office less than a year and was dealing with simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The choice stunned the world, including Obama. The following year, the Peace Prize went to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, and strained diplomatic relations between Norway and China. In 2012, the European Union, an institution weakened by economic crisis and disparity among its member states, won the Peace Prize . While the Norwegian Parliament has long insisted candidates are appointed to the committee without political regard, Harald Stanghell, editor of Oslo's major newspaper, Aftenposten, commented, "This introduces a new principle by which we associate the chair of the Nobel Committee with the new majority political color. This raises the question: is the Nobel Committee as independent of a political point of view as it should be?"