President Clinton Friday named Kristine Gebbie to be the nation's first AIDS czar, saying the epidemic requires the nation "to look for unprecedented remedies to unprecedented problems."

"We must redouble our government's efforts to promote research, funding and treatment for AIDS," Clinton said in a ceremony on the White House south lawn.He called Gebbie, whose formal title will be AIDS policy coordinator, a proven health-care leader who will bring years of experience to the job.

Gebbie said she was "thrilled to have a chance" to work on the problem. "We've all been working a balancing act with this epidemic for a long time," she said.

Gebbie, 49, served as head of Washington state's health department and previously as administrator of the health division of the Oregon Department of Human Resources. Republican President Ronald Reagan appointed Gebbie to his commission on AIDS in 1987.