The International Union of Quaternary Research (INQUA) organized the study and consideration of the Quaternary Period (the last 2.6 million years in Earth’s history) via a set of commissions, sub-commissions, working groups, projects and programmes. One of the most successful and best records was the Loess Commission (LC) which functioned assub-commission and then commission from 1961 to 2003, resulting in 40 years of useful activity. The history of the LC can be divided into three phases: 1, from 1961–1977 when the President was Julius Fink; 2, from 1977–1991, with President Marton Pecsi; 3, from 1991–2003 with Presidents An Zhi-Sheng and Ian Smalley. Fink, from Vienna, and Pecsi, from Budapest, gave the LC a distinctly Central European aspect. The nature of loess in Central Europe influenced the nature of the LC but the settings for phases 1 and 2 were quite distinct. Phase 1 was a small scale academic operation, carried out in German. As phase 2 began in 1977 the scope expanded and Central Europe became a base for worldwide loess studies. where the LC language changed to English. Phase 2 was run from a National Geographical Institute and demonstrated a different approach to loess research, although the basic programmes of continent-wide mapping and stratigraphy remained the same. The Commission benefited from this change of style and emphasis. In phase 3 the administration moved away from Central Europe but the Finkian ethos remained solid.