Lewis C. Solmon, 65, founding president of the Milken Institute economic think tank and an outspoken advocate of education reforms, including performance pay for teachers, died Monday.

Mr. Solmon died at his West Los Angeles home as a result of a stroke, according to the Milken Family Foundation, a research organization that is independent from the think tank.

Mr. Solmon, a UCLA professor emeritus, was dean of the university's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies from 1985 to 1991, when he became president of the Milken Institute.

In 1997, he joined the Milken Family Foundation to focus on education issues; in 2005 he became president of the foundation's nonprofit National Institute for Excellence in Teaching.

Mr. Solmon, who was born in Toronto, also held an economics doctorate from the University of Chicago.