New Delhi: S. Jaishankar, born January 9, 1955 in New Delhi, is said to be one of the early negotiators of the nuclear deal as the joint secretary, in-charge of Americas division.
He is one of the few diplomats to have a good network with the US as well as Russia. He played a key role during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in September and US President Barack Obama’s just concluded visit here.
Jaishankar was reportedly considered for the post of India’s foreign secretary in 2013. An Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1977 batch, his first postings abroad were as third and second secretary (Political) at the Embassy of India in Moscow from 1979 to 1981. From 1981 to 1985, he served as under-secretary (Americas) and policy planning in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
He then spent three years from 1985 to 1988 as first secretary handling political affairs at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, followed by two years as first secretary and political advisor to the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka.
In 1990, Jaishankar became Commercial Counsellor in Budapest. After three years in that position, he returned to India where he served first as director of the East Europe division of the Ministry of External Affairs and then as press secretary for the President of India. Following this, Jaishankar went abroad again — to Tokyo in 1996 as deputy chief of mission. In the year 2000, he was appointed the Ambassador of India to Czech Republic and served in Prague till 2004.
After completing his time as the ambassador in Prague, Jaishankar returned once again to India, where he led the Americas Division in the MEA. After heading the division for three years, he again left India in 2007 to serve as high commissioner to Singapore for two years. Jaishankar also served as the Ambassador of India to China from 2009 to 2013.
Jaishankar’s tenure as India’s ambassador to China coincided with several major developments in relations between the two countries. His 2010 briefing to the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security regarding China’s refusal to issue a visa to the head of the Indian army’s Northern Command led to a suspension of Indian defence co-operation with China, before the situation was resolved in April 2011. Also in 2010, Jaishankar negotiated an end to the Chinese policy of issuing stapled visas to Indians from Jammu and Kashmir.
Son of strategic affairs doyen K. Subrahmanyam, Jaishankar is married to Kyoko Jaishankar and has two sons and a daughter.