Her connection with the Heritage Foundation was apparently key to her getting the job, as a May 23, 2004, Washington Post article stated: "For months they wondered what they had in common, how their names had come to the attention of the Pentagon, until one day they figured it out: They had all posted their resumes at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative-leaning think tank."
Although initially appointed to perform mundane tasks, Ledeen and some of her other junior colleagues quickly rose to positions of great responsibility, due to high staff turnover at the CPA. According to the May 23, 2004, Post article: "They had been hired to perform a low-level task: collecting and organizing statistics, surveys and wish lists from the Iraqi ministries for a report that would be presented to potential donors at the end of the month. But as suicide bombs and rocket attacks became almost daily occurrences, more and more senior staffers defected. In short order, six of the new young hires found themselves managing the country's $13 billion budget, making decisions affecting millions of Iraqis."
- Ariana Eunjung Cha, "In Iraq, the Job Opportunity of a Lifetime - Managing a $13 Billion Budget With No Experience," Washington Post, May 23, 2004.