RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Sallie Shuping Russell, one of the better known venture capitalists, and certainly one of the few women VCs in the Southeast, is leaving Intersouth Partners.

At the same time, and coincidentally, Intersouth is making Chris Hegele a full-time partner. Hegele has split his time recently between Intersouth and Kitty Hawk Capital.

Russell, who joined Intersouth in 2001 after a successful career in helping launch and lead the investment group Duke Management Company, is leaving later this month to help manage a “fund of funds” for Quellos Group.

“We are disappointed that she is leaving, but we also are excited for her,” Mitch Mumma of Intersouth tells Local Tech Wire. “She has a ground-floor opportunity with Quellos.”

The international firm with some $12 billion in assets picked Russell to launch the private equity fund. She will remain based in the Triangle.

“She has made very good contributions to us and handled three investments,” Mumma says of Russell. Mumma notes that Russell is “one of the few” women in what he acknowledges is a “male-dominated industry.”

Russell worked at Duke University for 15 years and was a founder of Duke Management, which oversees the university’s endowment and investment funds. She served as vice president and director of private investments.

“We got to know Sallie when she was on the other side of the table,” Mumma recalls. Russell was first asked to serve on Intersouth’s advisory board for several years. The venture firm then hired her in March of 2001, and she served on the life sciences team. Her last day is June 14.

Hegele was asked to join Intersouth on a full-time basis before Russell announced her intention to leave. He had acted as Russell’s backup on some of the boards, so Intersouth sees a smooth transition.