He is assuming the post at a time when both countries have intensified efforts to find an amicable resolution to the issue of Khobragade's arrest.
Jaishankar, who till recently was ambassador to China, arrived in Washington yesterday. He is expected to present his credentials to President Barack Obama at the White House after the New Year.
Known as one of the brightest diplomats of his generation and a key player during negotiations for the India-US civilian nuclear deal, Jaishankar's first task will be to prevent ties from being hit any further over the incident involving Khobragade.
She was arrested on December 12 for allegedly making false declarations in a visa application for her maid Sangeeta Richard and released on a USD 250,000 bond after being charged with visa fraud.
Khobragade has since been transferred from the Consulate in New York to India's permanent mission to the UN. The US is reviewing paperwork it received from the UN for her diplomatic accreditation, a State Department spokesperson told PTI today.
Revelations that she was strip searched and held with criminals after her arrest triggered a row between the two sides.
Born in New Delhi in 1955, Jaishankar is the son of prominent strategic affairs analyst, commentator and civil servant K Subrahmanyam and brother of historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam.
Jaishankar succeeds Nirupama Rao, who was appointed envoy to the US after she retired as Foreign Secretary. He also served as First Secretary in the Embassy in Washington during 1985-88.