Prince Souvanna phouma (7 October 1901-January 10,1984) was the leader of the neutralist faction and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Laos several times, from 1951 - 1952, 1956 - 1957, 1960 and 1962 - 1975.

Phouma was born into the vice-royal family of Louang Prabang, and given a French education in Hanoi, Paris and Grenoble, where he obtained his degree in architecture and engineering. He returned to his homeland in 1931, marrying Aline Claire Allard, the daughter of a French father and a Lao mother.

Phouma, together with his brother, Prince Phetsarath (1891-1959) and his half-brother, Prince Souphanouvong (1909-1995), became involved in Laotian politics at around the end of World War II, at which time the Lao Issara was established to counter the French occupation.