Baroness Jill Pitkeathley, chair of the Third Sector Advisory Body, said the panel must not be afraid to "talk straight".
"We will start work as soon as possible to ensure that the third sector's interests are put at the heart of policy-making," she said.
The panel members will receive £250 a day for about 15 days a year. Their appointments will last until March 2011.
Phil Hope, Minister for the Third Sector, said: "The panel's expertise, experience and authority will prove invaluable in our drive to support the third sector and the increasingly important part it plays in society."
The panel members
- Lynne Berry OBE, chief executive, WRVS
- Stan Crawford OBE, managing director, Sherwood Energy Village
- Stephen Dunmore, consultant & former chief executive, Big Lottery Fund
- Clare Gilhooly, chief executive, Cambridge House
- Michael Kelly, Europe head corporate social responsibility, KPMG
- John Knight, head of external policy, Leonard Cheshire
- Bhupendra Mistry, board member, Carnegie UK Trust, Harvest Housing Group & BBC World Service
- Penny Newman OBE, non-executive director, Social Finance Ltd, former chief executive, Café Direct and social enterprise ambassador
- Cliff Prior CBE, chief executive, UnLtd
- Abbie Rumbold, partner, Bates Wells & Braithwaite
- Danielle Walker Palmour, Director, Friends Provident Foundation
- Sir Nick Young, chief executive, British Red Cross