Mammary gland morphology and physiology are supported by an underlying cellular differentiation hierarchy. Molecular features associated with particular cell types along this hierarchy may contribute to the biological and clinical heterogeneity observed in human breast carcinomas. Investigating the normal cellular developmental phenotypes in breast tumors may provide new prognostic paradigms, identify new targetable pathways, and explain breast cancer subtype etiology. We used transcriptomic profiles coming from fluorescence-activated cell sorted (FACS) normal mammary epithelial cell types from several independent human and murine studies. Using a meta-analysis approach, we derived consensus gene signatures for both species and used these to relate tumors to normal mammary epithelial cell phenotypes. We then compiled a dataset of breast cancer patients treated with neoadjuvant anthracycline and taxane chemotherapy regimens to determine if normal cellular traits predict the likelihood of a pathological complete response (pCR) in a multivariate logistic regression analysis with clinical markers and genomic features such as cell proliferation. Most human and murine tumor subtypes shared some, but not all, features with a specific FACS-purified normal cell type; thus for most tumors a potential distinct cell type of 'origin' could be assigned. We found that both human luminal progenitor and mouse fetal mammary stem cell features predicted pCR sensitivity across all breast cancer patients even after controlling for intrinsic subtype, proliferation, and clinical variables. This work identifies new clinically relevant gene signatures and highlights the value of a developmental biology perspective for uncovering relationships between tumor subtypes and their potential normal cellular counterparts.