Arbitrator FT2, speaking for the Arbitration Committee, explained the selections:
As a matter of best practice we decided no arbitrator or ex-arbitrator would be allowed on the working group, to allow the group maximum freedom to find its own new approach to the entire area and not feel restricted in so doing.
We feel strongly that this group should be created genuinely fresh and cover a wider than usual range of experiences and viewpoints, subject to the guideline requirement to be able to work with others and to value communal norms. Of the above, some have rejected adminship, some have criticized past decisions (of various kinds, communal, arbcom etc), a few have been mediators and others "just good editors" or administrators putting work into the relevant areas. A few have had controversy attached. In each case, our sole criteria in the decision has been whether the group will be more likely to produce better results for their involvement, and their ability to meet the criteria set out in the guidelines and work beneficially.
An additional eight users were named "observers". According to FT2,
The intent is that the group may benefit from the views of users who are uninvolved in the main discussion but may come up with additional perspectives and analyses for consideration now and then. Observer status also better suits certain people's skills and approaches, users who are interested but expect to become busy or away, users who are uncertain about their level of involvement, and users with other specialist insight and experience relevant to an aspect of the issue. Movement between the groups will probably be allowed in some cases.
These eight users will serve as observers:
The group will attempt to generate approaches to handle ethnic and cultural edit wars. A draft of suggested guidelines for the group has been created; these guidelines will be the basic structure under which the group operates.